Page last updated at 20:20 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 21:20 UK

7/7 friends 'made tourism calls'

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

Two men accused of helping the 7 July bombers plan their attacks made calls to tourist bodies on a reconnaissance mission in London, a court has heard.

Waheed Ali, Sadeer Saleem and Mohammed Shakil spent two days with two of the bombers in 2004, the jury heard.

During the trip Mr Ali and Mr Shakil called the London Tourist Board and the Natural History Museum, Kingston Crown Court was told.

All three men deny one charge each of conspiring to cause explosions.

'Important period'

Mr Ali, 24, is from Tower Hamlets, east London, while Mr Shakil, 31, and Mr Saleem, 27, are both from Beeston, Leeds.

Mobile phone records tracked their movements while they were allegedly visiting potential targets.

The three men spent time with two of the bombers, Jermain Lindsay and Hasib Hussain, on 16 and 17 December 2004, the court heard.

One issue you may want to consider is whether it [an alleged arson attack] provided a convenient cover for disposing of the car and any secrets that may have been hidden within it
Neil Flewitt QC

Neil Flewitt QC, outlining the prosecution case, said: "Their movements and actions over that important two-day period must be considered against the background of what, we suggest, was a commitment to strike at those who they considered to be the enemies of Islam wherever they might be."

Mr Flewitt said mobile phone calls made by the three defendants and Hussain could be traced down the M1 from Leeds on the morning of 16 December.

He said received calls made in London by Mr Ali included Lindsay, who was still in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Mr Flewitt told them there was evidence that Lindsay stopped at King's Cross station for at least 40 minutes and called Mr Ali and Mr Shakil.

He said the jury would have to decide whether it was a "coincidence" that Lindsay detonated his bomb on a Tube train from King's Cross towards Russell Square on 7 July.

Mr Shakil's Mitsubishi Carisma car, which received a parking ticket on 17 December, was later reported as the subject of an arson attack.

Mr Flewitt told the jury: "One issue you may want to consider is whether it provided a convenient cover for disposing of the car and any secrets that may have been hidden within it."

On 17 December, Mr Ali called the London Tourist Board again and the London Eye. Mr Shakil's phone was used to call London Zoo.

The court previously heard that Mr Saleem and Mr Shakil visited the Natural History Museum, the London Eye and the London Aquarium.

'No coincidence'

But Michael Wolkind QC, defending Mr Ali, said the visit to London was no more than "a small adventure" during which his client spent time with family and friends.

On behalf of Mr Saleem, Andrew Hall QC told the jury there was "not a scrap of evidence that any of the defendants took one step on to the Underground" during their visit to London.

The jury was told Mr Ali and Mr Saleem flew to Pakistan just days after their visit to London.

They said on their visa application they were visiting relatives, but the journey took place at the same time as two of the 7 July bombers were in the country, prosecutors said.

Suicide bombers Lindsay and Hussain, along with Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, murdered 52 people when they set off bombs on the London public transport network on 7 July 2005.

'DNA links'

Mr Flewitt told the court it was "no coincidence that they flew out fairly soon after their reconnaissance trip to London and while Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were still there".

He added that scientist Clifford Todd had "doubts" the four bombers could have "conceived and executed" their plot "completely in isolation, ie without any help of information from any other person".

The jury was told there were a number of links between the three defendants and two alleged "bomb factories" in Alexandra Grove and Chapeltown Road, both in Leeds.

These included traces of Mr Ali's DNA on the handle of a rucksack and on a hat inside it which were found at Alexandra Grove, and his fingerprints on a chest of drawers at Chapeltown Road.

The DNA of Mr Saleem, who is asthmatic, was found on an inhaler and in a blood stain on a pair of martial-arts trousers.

The hearing continues.

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