Terrorist suspect accused of plotting to buy a radio-isotope bomb (UPDATED)

The trial is taking place in Britain. From Free Republic:

One of the suspected terrorists on trial for allegedly plotting a nationwide bombing campaign has been linked to a nuclear weapon.

The Old Bailey jury was told that Salahuddin Amin had been involved in discussions to buy a nuclear bomb.

The prosecution said contact had been made with the Russian mafia in Belgium, from whom they wanted to buy a radio-isotope bomb.

Yesterday, jurors heard the prosecution outline its case that the seven-strong gang – all British citizens – planned to blow up pubs, nightclubs, trains and also considered hitting the UK's power infrastructure.

Khyam, Garcia, Hussain, Akbar

The gang had wanted to blow up "the biggest nightclub" in central London, prosecutor David Waters QC said.

In February, 2004, they were allegedly overheard discussing bomb targets.

Mr Waters said: "Jawad Akbar referred to attacks upon the utilities, gas, water or electrical supplies.

"Alternatively, a big nightclub in central London might be a target."

The accused deny conspiring to cause explosions between January 1 2003 and March 31 2004.

Three of them also deny an additional charge of possessing an article for terrorism.

Mohammed Babar, a US citizen who pleaded guilty in New York to a role in a "British bomb plot", is expected to give evidence against the defendants.

The Guardian:

Seven British men with alleged links to al-Qaida plotted to carry out a terrorist campaign in the UK with homemade explosives containing more than half a tonne of fertiliser, the Old Bailey heard yesterday. The defendants, mainly of Pakistani descent, had most of the necessary bomb-making components ready but were arrested in March 2004 before they had finalised a target, said David Waters QC, opening the prosecution case.

[…] Most of the gang are accused of having undergone training at terrorist camps in Pakistan in the past few years. And they all "played their respective roles" in the plan to make a bomb or bombs, which would be used "to kill or injure citizens of the UK", said Mr Waters.

A US citizen, Mohammed Babar, who has already admitted his part in the "British bomb plot", will testify at the Old Bailey in a few days' time.

(snip) Most of the defendants, whom Babar called the "Crawley lot", visited him there, where they underwent terrorist training in explosives techniques and worked out how to get bomb components and bring them to the UK.

Khyam and Amin both told Babar they worked for a man called Abdul Hadi, whom they claimed was "number three in al-Qaida".

Khyam, whom Mr Waters described as "very much at the centre of operations", said he wanted to carry out operations in the UK because it was as yet unscathed and should be hit because of its support for the US.

"The majority of that contact [with Babar] was in Pakistan and it involved, for the most part, one theme – the acquisition of training and expertise, particularly in relation to explosives," said Mr Waters.

UPDATE: From Times On Line:

All the defendants, apart from Mr Hussain, allegedly trained at camps in Pakistan and spent time in Britain with Mr Babar. They frequently changed their names, used code words and regularly disposed of their laptop computers and mobile phones.

Mr Waters said that in one discussion with Mr Babar, Waheed Mahmood had said he “couldn’t understand why people were coming all the way to Pakistan or Afghanistan to fight when they should be fighting jihad in the UK”. Concerned about MI5 surveillance, he suggested that a new Islamic convert receive explosives training in Pakistan and return to Britain to teach others.

[…]Shujah Mahmood arrived in Pakistan with digital scales for weighing ratios of ammonium nitrate to aluminium powder. Mr Garcia attended training camps and “taught those with less experience how to dismantle and reassemble weapons”. The men were said to have experimented at the camp with ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder, causing small explosions.


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