Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 17:33 UK

7/7 friends 'helped find targets'

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil
Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil deny the charges

Three friends of the 7 July suicide bombers helped them find potential targets in London, a court has heard.

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil scouted for possible locations, and visited the Natural History Museum and the London Eye, jurors were told.

They were not directly behind the 2005 attacks, but shared the "objectives" and two went to Pakistan with the 7/7 ringleader, Kingston Crown Court heard.

The three Leeds men deny conspiring to cause explosions between 2004 and 2005.

Mr Ali, 24, Mr Saleem, 27, and Mr Shakil, 31, are accused of assisting Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermain Lindsay and Hasib Hussain, in what prosecutors say was a reconnaissance mission for the 2005 attacks.

Khan, Tanweer, Lindsay and Hussain killed 52 people in four separate suicide bombings on London's transport network on 7 July that year.

It is the case that the defendants associated with and shared the beliefs and objectives of the London bombers
Neil Flewitt QC

Jurors were shown never-before-seen CCTV footage of those attacks, tracking the four bombers' movements from the moment they met in Luton, to the moment they detonated their bombs.

The court was also told two of the three defendants - Mr Shakil and Mr Ali - travelled to Pakistan with 7/7 ringleader Khan.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, said although the defendants were not "directly involved in the London bombings", they "shared the beliefs and objectives of the London bombers" and were willing to assist them in "one particular and important aspect of their preparation".

Final targets

The prosecution claims that seven months before the attacks, the three defendants travelled from Leeds to London along with Hussain, one of the four bombers, and "conducted a reconnaissance of potential targets" which "bore a striking similarity" to the final targets.

He said the defence would argue that the men visited various London locations, including the London Underground, the Natural History Museum, the London Eye and the London Aquarium, for social reasons.

Bus in Tavistock Square, London, destroyed on 7 July 2005
The 7 July bombers killed 52 people in attacks on London's transport

The prosecution went on to show the jury CCTV footage of the events of 7 July 2005, the first time the material had been seen other than by police and security services.

The footage captured the four bombers assembling in the early hours of the morning, heading to Luton railway station and pulling on the rucksacks containing their bombs before catching a commuter train to London.

Jurors were shown images of the damage caused by Khan's bomb, which ripped through the carriage of a westbound train leaving Edgware Road killing six passengers.

CCTV footage caught a Circle Line train leaving Liverpool Street station and, as Tanweer detonated his device, smoke filling the platform leaving commuters running for cover. He killed himself and seven others.

'Battery purchase'

CCTV images also showed bus bomber Hussain, who it is claimed had problems with his device, at a WH Smith newsagents where it is believed he bought a new battery.

He went on to detonate his rucksack shortly before 10am on the upper deck of a number 30 bus in Tavistock Square, killing himself and 13 other people.

Items, including mobile phone numbers and fingerprints, found at the houses of the four 7/7 bombers linked the three defendants to the plotters, the prosecution said, with Mr Ali and 7 July ringleader Khan being particularly friendly.

Mr Ali travelled to Pakistan with Khan, staying for more than a month in 2001, the jury heard.

Two years later, in July 2003, Mr Shakil took part in terror training camps during a "fact-finding mission" for those interested in fighting jihad, prosecutors said.

They claim Khan - who was seen saying goodbye to his baby daughter in a video - and Mr Shakil attended a training camp where they took part in firearms training using light machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers and AK47 assault rifles.

The trial continues.

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