Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Airline bomb plotter's wife tells of abuse

Cossor Ali, arriving at the Old Bailey
Cossor Ali denies knowing about the plot to blow up planes

The wife of a man convicted of plotting to bomb aircraft was hit so hard by her husband that imprints of his fingers were left on her face, a jury heard.

Cossor Ali told Inner London Crown Court she had felt her identity was being "erased" at his hands.

She became scared of her husband, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, she said.

Mrs Ali, 28, of Walthamstow, east London, denies failing to pass on information about her husband's plans to blow up transatlantic jets.

He was jailed for 40 years in September after being convicted of plotting to blow up planes flying from the UK to North America using liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks.

As part of her defence, Mrs Ali told the court she had grown up in a moderate household and had been taught to be proud of her parents' adopted country.

But she said this changed when she married Ali in 2003 and moved into his family home, which she described as a "culture shock".

'Love bite'

Jurors were told her husband punished her for failing to wear a veil, giving her a "love bite" on her face so she would not forget.

The defendant said she found the transition from her family to her husband's "extremely, extremely difficult".

"I felt like my whole identity was being erased," Mrs Ali told the court.

The court was told she became scared of her husband, especially after he hit her during an argument.

"He slapped me around the face. He really hit me, to the extent that I spun," she told the court, adding: "You could see the imprint of his fingers, you could actually see the hand shape."

I was shocked and disgusted that I was living with a man that could feel that much hate
Cossor Ali

She went to a police station with her parents following the incident, but she did not want to go through with prosecuting her husband.

Mrs Ali told the court her husband had very different views on Islam and she was made to feel she was not a good Muslim.

And she said she had been "horrified" when she was shown the suicide tape he had made as part of the bomb plot.

"I was shocked and disgusted that I was living with a man that could feel that much hate and be like that," she told the court, adding: "I was horrified, it made me hate him."


Earlier this week the court heard about a diary entry in which Mrs Ali had expressed hopes her husband would achieve the highest level of "shahada".

This, the prosecution suggested, meant "martyrdom". But she denied this, saying she took it to mean "highest level of faith".

Asked if she knew what her husband had been planning, she replied: "I didn't, no."

She told the court that if she had been aware of what was going on, she would have "gone to my parents who would have had no hesitation about going to the police".

Mrs Ali faces a charge of failing to pass on information that would be useful in preventing an act of terrorism.

The trial continues.

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