Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Three accused 'intoxicated by the evil of terrorism'

Scales of Justice
The three styled themselves as The Blackburn Resistance, the court heard

Three men "intoxicated by the evil of terrorism" trained in a park to join or carry out violent jihad, a court heard.

Edward Brown QC, prosecuting, said they gathered a stockpile of weapons as they studied guerrilla warfare and filmed the training in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The trio styled themselves as The Blackburn Resistance, a jury at Manchester Crown Court was told.

Abbas Iqbal, 24, his brother Ilyas Iqbal, 23, and Muhammed Ali Ahmad, 26, deny preparing for acts of terrorism.

Abbas Iqbal also denies disseminating terrorist publications and possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist.

Ilyas Iqbal pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist.

'Firing weapons'

Mr Brown told the court: "The prosecution does not suggest that this group is a highly sophisticated, well-trained or well-funded terrorist cell.

"We do suggest however these three young men from Blackburn had become intoxicated by the evil of terrorism and had started to train themselves to join or carry out violent jihad.

The three defendants were... readying themselves for active participation in violent jihad or training for jihad, probably abroad
Edward Brown QC, prosecuting

"At the stage when they were stopped by police, they had not got very far."

It is alleged the park video and images of the three defendants firing weapons into the air in the back garden of the Iqbal family home were contained in a mobile phone storage card belonging to Abbas Iqbal.

Mr Brown said the card was found in the suitcase of Abbas Iqbal when he was arrested at Manchester Airport in August 2008 on the way to northern Europe with another alleged extremist, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The pair aimed to "spread their creed" by taking material that they intended to encourage others to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism, the court heard.

'Weapons cabinet'

Mr Brown said: "Consistent with their interest in jihadi activity, all three defendants had developed a keen interest in weaponry and had filmed themselves engaged in military-type activity connected with their preparations for acts in pursuit of their extreme cause.

"They were also in possession of material that would help themselves and, or, others to commit terrorist acts."

He added: "The prosecution say, calling themselves the Blackburn Resistance, the three defendants were acting together with their armoury of training equipment and with the information they had gathered, readying themselves for active participation in violent jihad or training for jihad, probably abroad."

The prosecution said an armoury stockpile was found in a weapons cabinet along with terror-related documents on a desktop computer at the Iqbal brothers' home in Percival Street.

Police discovered extreme material Mr Ahmad had written, extremist speeches, martyrdom videos and mobile phone images of executions when they searched his home in Whalley Range, Manchester.

The court was told Mr Ahmad, a Muslim convert, changed his name from Paul Andrew Cryer in 2004.

The trial, scheduled to last four weeks, continues on Friday.

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Clitheroe Advertiser & Times Jury watch Blackburn 'terrorist' video - 31 mins ago
Lytham St Annes Express Terrorism accused 'trained in town park' - 5 hrs ago
The Independent 'Terror propaganda film made in town park' - 21 hrs ago
Times Online 'Would-be terrorists were deadly serious' - 37 hrs ago
Worksop Guardian Three accused were 'intoxicated by evil of terrorism' - 45 hrs ago

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