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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 16:26 GMT
Men 'planned fireworks business'
Court graphic
A man accused of conspiring to cause explosions has told a jury he was planning to start a fireworks business.

Moinul Abedin, 27, told Birmingham Crown Court it was "categorically not the fact" that he and chemistry graduate Dr Faisal Mostafa, 37, were plotting to make bombs.

The father-of-two claimed on Friday he had nothing to hide from police officers who raided a house he rented in Barrows Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham.

These people (the prosecution) are portraying it as some major bomb factory... and my wife and children hanging around

Moinul Abedin
Both men deny charges of conspiring to cause explosions and possessing explosives and pleaded not guilty to separate charges of doing an act with intent to cause explosions.

Mr Abedin said he would not have let his wife and children in the house if he thought they were at risk from dangerous explosives.

Five home-made detonators were found in the raid.

"My child was running around all over the house, for God's sake," Mr Abedin told his counsel, Malcolm Bishop QC.

"These people (the prosecution) are portraying it as some major bomb factory in Barrows Road and my wife and children hanging around a bomb factory.

"The prosecution have alleged that I was involved in some kind of conspiracy. Quite categorically, that is not the fact."

Describing the day police raided the property in November 2000, Mr Abedin said: "Surely a sane person would go and destroy things - I didn't do no such action at all."

'Mostafa's Powder'

Mr Abedin, is from Fallows Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, and Dr Mostafa, from Green Pastures, Stockport, Greater Manchester.

The court has heard how police found the raw materials for making the high-explosive hexanethylene triperoxide diamine (HTMD) in a business unit rented by Mr Abedin under a pseudonym.

The same material was found in the detonators.

Mr Abedin said he had met Dr Mostafa when he went to pick up his brother from a mosque school in Small Heath, Birmingham, where his co-defendant was a teacher.

He claims Dr Mostafa, who had an interest in pyrotechnics, helped them concoct the fireworks from HTMD they then called "Mostafa's Powder".

They intended to sell the fireworks to local shops on occasions such as Bonfire Night, the Muslim holy festival of Eid, Christmas and New Year, he said.

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