Airport crash doctor admitted being a terrorist

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A doctor accused of involvement in an attack at Glasgow airport testified yesterday that he was surprised when his friend suddenly attempted to crash into a terminal entrance.

Bilal Abdulla, 29, acknowledged that he threw a petrol bomb and fought with bystanders after getting out of the Jeep Cherokee but said he hadn't intended to hurt anyone.

"I am told I am a terrorist, but is your government not a terrorist, is your army not a terrorist?" Abdulla said. "By the definition of the act, according to English law, yes. That is my aim: to change opinion using violence, using fire devices."

But he insisted his actions were intended to frighten people, not injure them.

Abdulla and co-defendant Mohammed Asha, 28, have pleaded innocent to charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions. Both were physicians employed in Britain's National Health Service. The driver of the car in the June 30, 2007 attack, Kafeel Ahmed, died of burns.

Abdulla contends that two cars armed with gas canisters and detonators left in central London the day before the airport incident were intended only to scare people. The gas failed to ignite and no one was injured.

In Glasgow, Abdulla said he was hoping to catch a flight to Turkey, France or some other European destination. Ahmed drove around the terminal building twice because of heavy traffic, and then tried a taxi lane, Abdulla said.

"The car in front of us moved and I thought he would correct his position and switch to the other lane," Abdulla testified.

"But he drove through the barrier and I got alarmed and I shouted 'What are you doing, what is happening?' Then in a matter of no time the car accelerated and turned left into the pole."

Abdulla said he feared they would be arrested and shouted at Ahmed to back up.

"I had never seen Kafeel's face like that in my life, in the time I had known him," Abdulla said.

"He was determined, his foot was on the accelerator and he did not respond to me at all," Abdulla said. "I started shouting 'What are you doing, what are you doing, man?"'

He said Ahmed had brought the petrol bombs to protect himself from police if he was caught on the way back to Liverpool.

"Kafeel said on his way to Liverpool he will not be easy prey for police. If police attack him he will defend himself and he will not be an easy target," Abdulla said.

He testified that Ahmed, frustrated at being unable to get into the terminal, handed him a petrol bomb.

"He got one of the bottles, it was lit, and transferred it to my hands. He just put it into my hands," Abdulla said.

"The first thought that came across my mind is to get rid of this bottle," he added, saying he had thrown it across the hood of the vehicle, away from bystanders.