Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Car bombs trial: the key points

By Marie Jackson
BBC News

Dr Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed
Dr Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed checked into a hotel in East London

A doctor accused of taking part in car bomb attacks in London and at Glasgow Airport last summer has been giving evidence at Woolwich Crown Court.

Bilal Abdulla denies conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions. Here are some of the key points from the day in court:


Dr Abdulla, who has Iraqi and UK dual nationality, told jurors how the war in Iraq had made him increasingly bitter about the US and UK governments.

He said by 2004 at least 15 of his family and friends had been killed.

"Every single person in my family had a story," he said.

After a visit to Baghdad, where he witnessed the devastation and saw "bullet holes in every door", he and his friend began discussing what action they could take, he said.

I am not trained to be a fighter, I am trained to be a doctor
Dr Bilal Abdulla

"I wanted the public to have a taste of what the decisions their democratically elected murderers did to my people."

His friend, Kafeel Ahmed, suggested setting off a device that "looked professional but would not kill people", he said.

It was, he said, intended to give the public "a taste of fear".

Throughout his evidence, he stressed he was not a man of violence.

"I am not trained to be a fighter, I am trained to be a doctor," he said.


Gas canister and nails left in car
Car bomb: A gas canister and nails

Dr Abdulla told the court the idea for a car bomb was hatched by his friend Kafeel Ahmed, an engineer from India, during an online conversation.

The thinking behind it, he said, was KISS - Keep It Simple and Stupid - easy to do, not costly and something that will not kill people.

He told jurors: "The plan, in essence, Kafeel will use cars that will have petrol canisters at the back of the car and he will use mobile phones to ignite that petrol and the cars will burn."


Dr Abdulla outlined how preparations were shared out - Kafeel Ahmed dealt with the mechanics and logistics, including making false IDs and driving licences, while he would take care of finances.

Dr Abdulla said he was working full time, so any help was restricted to the weekends when he would buy mobile phones and SIM cards and rent cars and a house with a garage.

A reconnaissance of London was carried out on an open-top bus. The pair were looking for a suitable spot to carry out their project.

Their list of options included 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, but they concluded they needed somewhere they could park at night, Mr Abdulla said.

He added they had planned to carry out their project on the day Gordon Brown took over as Labour leader from Tony Blair, but there were still some minor details to iron out so it was postponed for a week.


It was a 13-hour journey from Renfrewshire to London travelling in separate cars in convoy with many stops along the way, Dr Abdulla said.

The last stop was just off the Edgware Road, where the pair splashed petrol over the duvets covering the devices in the back, he said.

Dr Abdulla's next stop was outside Tiger Tiger nightclub in the West End, which had not been pre-arranged, he told the court.

For the next six minutes he tried to prepare the device, all the time checking to see if anyone was watching him and worrying he may be arrested, he said.

He then ran across the road before calling the mobile phone in the car that was to act as the trigger, jurors were told.

"I called it a first time, and I called it a second time and my mobile was ringing again. I knew it did not burn," he said.

He went on to describe his disappointment followed by fear as it dawned on him there were clues left in the vehicle.

Phones and electronic parts had all been bought in Dr Abdulla's name on his credit card, the court heard.


Dr Abdulla said the pair spent the night in a London hotel but by the following morning he knew he had to leave the country.

"I'm the person who will be caught first. I did not follow the instructions to cover my face when I got out of the car. My face is on CCTV and everything is in my name.

"It will be a short while before they recognise our faces," he added.

The trial continues.

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