Page last updated at 20:19 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:19 UK

Terror suspect 'staked out mall'

Andrew Ibrahim
Andrew Ibrahim allegedly listened to radical preachers on the internet

A student who made his own suicide vest and home-made explosives staked out a Bristol shopping centre as a potential bomb target, a court has heard.

Andrew Ibrahim, 20, from Bristol, denies making explosives with intent, and preparing terrorist acts in April 2008, but admits making an explosive.

That month he went on an alleged reconnaissance trip to Broadmead mall.

Prosecutors told Winchester Crown Court he spent an hour there making notes, without entering any of the 100 shops.

Mark Ellison QC said said that as he walked, Mr Ibrahim made a note on his mobile phone of the location of bins, lifts, escalators and exits, and described the food court as a "dense area".

He also made a note of the time it would take to exit the shopping centre without running, Mr Ellison the jury.

"It seems he may well have been exploring how something could be put into one of the bins before leaving the centre without running and drawing attention to yourself," he said.

Mr Ibrahim was arrested in April 2008, as he walked to Bristol city centre.

It is significant evidence that he later made [explosive] HMTD with intention to endanger life
Mark Ellison QC, prosecuting

When police searched his one-bedroom flat in the outskirts of the city they found a quantity of home-made high explosive known as HMTD [hexamethylene triperoxide diamine] packed into a biscuit box in his fridge.

Mr Ellison told the court on Friday that Mr Ibrahim had been checking the shopping centre for its "suitability".

"We suggest it is significant evidence that he later made HMTD with intention to endanger life," he added.

Earlier the court heard the science student, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, had converted to Islam, changed his name by deed poll - from Andrew to Isa - and had begun describing the UK as a "dirty toilet".

Prosecutors said he developed a "mindset of martyrdom" after listening to radical Muslim clerics on the internet.

And the court heard he had said he admired the 7/7 London bombers and thought the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was a "justified response" for Western aggression.

Home-made vest

When police searched his flat they also found ingredients to make an explosive device, plus a "crudely made" electrical circuit which could detonate the explosive.

A home-made white cotton vest with a central panel at the front and back and straps going over the shoulder was also discovered, which prosecutors said was the sort of vest "used sometimes by what are known as suicide bombers".

Mr Ibrahim has pleaded not guilty to two counts of making an explosive with intent, between 8 and 17 April 2008, with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom.

He is also charged with preparation of terrorist acts between the same dates, by purchasing material to make an explosive, making that explosive, buying material to detonate the explosive, carrying out "reconnaissance" before the act and "making an improvised suicide vest in which to then detonate an explosive substance."

He has pleaded guilty to making an explosive substance between April 8 and 17 2008.

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