Barot: A Hindu who converted to Islam

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The Independent Online

Dhiren Barot was raised a Hindu in the UK before converting later to Islam, a court heard today.

Edmund Lawson QC, prosecuting, told Woolwich Crown Court in London that Barot had been born in India in December, 1971, and was now aged 34, nearly 35.

He said that Barot had been brought to the UK "as a babe in arms" in 1972 by his parents, who settled in north west London.

He left school in Kingsbury in 1988 after obtaining some GCSEs, and then obtained a City and Guilds qualification in tourism.

Mr Lawson said: "There is only one substantial period of employment, which appears to have been when he worked from 1991 to 1995 as an airline ticket clerk in Piccadilly.

"Latterly, he requested a transfer to Heathrow, but his application failed."

Mr Lawson said that Barot told his employers in September, 1995, that he was going on a "long overseas trip".

Mr Lawson said: "That much is true, as investigations reveal that he went for a long training session at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan."

He added that Barot had not sought social security benefits at any time, with the inference being that someone or some organisation was supporting him financially.

Mr Lawson added that other jobs he appears to have had were as a night porter at luxury apartment blocks in London, and may have also worked for a company called Phone City.

Mr Lawson said that Barot appeared to have no fixed address in the UK, and it was evident that he often moved frequently from one house to another, "consistent with anti-surveillance 'trade-craft' having been learnt by him."

He said that a book was published in 1999, written by Barot under the name Esa Al-Hindi, called "The Army of Madinah".

He told the court that the book contained a biography that says that Barot was born into a Hindu household and brought up in the UK before converting to Islam at the age of 20.

Mr Lawson went on to detail how Barot also had a history of "losing" his passports, and mentioned several occasions where his documents were reported lost or stolen before others were applied for.