Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 13:11 UK

Manchester terror plot: The e-mails

By Dominic Casciani
BBC News home affairs correspondent

Abid Naseer
Abid Naseer's e-mails were of concern

A special immigration court has ruled that a Pakistani student was leading a bomb plot in the UK - but can't be deported because of the risk to his safety.

At the heart of the case was a series of e-mails that Abid Naseer sent to a contact in Pakistan. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission said this contact was an al-Qaeda operative.

During the case a witness for MI5, known only as ZR, explained what he thought they meant.

*For purposes of clarity, some of the grammar has been amended in the e-mails, one of which contains strong language.


"Salam. Thanks for discovering about me. I am doing well and having a good time. I went to see my mates in other city and came back last week.

"I saw a slight glimpse of Huma day before yesterday but she was very weak and difficult to convince. She says she is busy with her studies and it will take her long. Nadia is more gorgeous than Huma at the moment and she is easy to befriend… Nadia is crystal clear girl and it won't take long to relate with her. Her parents like me as well. What do u suggest my friend?"

Witness ZR said: "We judge that it is most likely that the girl's names refer to the likely materials for an improvised explosive device. We have not discounted other alternative explanations. It's not in our professional nature to do so. Nevertheless, we believe that the most credible explanation is that the girls' names are code for home-made bombs."

Huma referred to hydrogen peroxide, the chemical used for hair bleach, said witness ZR. It has been used in previous bomb plots including the 2005 London attacks. The commercially available version of hair bleach is weak - to turn it into a concentrated explosive ingredient takes time and expertise.

Abid Naseer told the court that he was looking for a wife and was looking at the women who could fit the bill. The government accepts that he was using Muslim dating websites and forums.


"About my girl friend. As I told you about Huma's affair. She is Nadia is still waiting for my response. She is very loyal and she has created a place in my heart.

"You know Gulnaz and Fozia. WOW man. I would love to get them in my friends list but you know I have been thinking about their abilities. Gulnaz sounds ok but she is found [fond] of money. Fozia is some times bull shit. She lets you down sometime.

"I am still keeping my car because most of the jobs they ask for it and other reason is you know girls mostly like guys with car. They love money and nice car. That's they all about."

Interpretation: The security service suspected that Gulnaz was code for black market firearms which would be expensive to obtain. Fozia was supposedly fertiliser which can form part of a home-made bomb. It can be very difficult and dangerous to prepare.

The reference to cars could mean they were thinking about placing the bomb in a vehicle, the security service said.


"Hmmmm so u have a lot of girl friends… me also like girls pay my salam [greetings] for ur girls friend ok. When ever u will marry, so plz [please] first see ur girlfriend how is she… is she nice and beauty and honest [because] we marry in life on one time."


"I am satisfied with my company of females LOL. They are simple and easily manageable. All you have to do is to be serious and give them plenty of time I am constantly in touch with the families of the girls I mentioned before and will choose which ever can be my faithful and loving wife. I am bore [sic] of being a bachelor now LOL so I would try to make it happen in the near future. I will be careful about my choice because your whole family life depends upon the decision. I will look at every aspect of their family and relatives and I am sure when engagement is finalised then it will be huge party for everyone."


"I am sure my email will find you in good health and all your family members are enjoying them self. I am doing well as usual and having good time.

"The weather is getting warmer here and we have loads of things to enjoy. You know how is it over here when its summer. People out to the beaches and going on holidays. Well we had some short trips to riverside as well. My mates are well and yes my affair with Nadia is soon turning in to family life.

"I met with Nadia family and we both parties have agreed to conduct the Nikkah after 15th and before 20th of this month. I have confirmed the dates from them and they said you should be ready between these dates.

"I am delighted that they have strong family values and we will have many guests attending the party. I am sure Nadia was the right choice for me at this time because I was getting older day by day LOL.

"Anyways I wished you could be here as well to enjoy the party. That's all from here, nothing new to write down. Pay my love to Hassan and regards to all your family members."

The content of this e-mail convinced the security service and the police that they needed to arrest Abid Naseer. According to their assessment, the e-mail meant that he had chosen his materials and had set dates for an attack. He is allegedly telling his handlers in Pakistan "to be ready between those dates".

'Other recruits'

Mr Naseer said that he had met a woman who could become a wife - and an 18-year-old girl gave evidence to the hearings that she had discussed marriage with the Manchester student. The security service said that the relationship had fallen apart and was incompatible with the contents of the 3 April e-mail.

Mr Naseer, 23, was one of 10 Pakistani students arrested last April as part of a massive counter-terrorism operation in Liverpool and Manchester.

Counsel for the other men argued in court that even if the security service suspected Mr Naseer, they had been wrong to arrest other students who appeared to have no role in any alleged plot.

But the security services argue that the men were recruits to the plan and that assessment was supported by references to "mates" in the e-mails.

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