Extremist gang wanted British recruits for Pakistani terror training camps

 

A gang of Al Qa'ida inspired extremists were trying to recruit British radicals for terrorist training in  Pakistan, a court heard today.

Last week the nine predominantly UK-born men pleaded guilty to terrorist charges. While four conceded  their part in a plot to bomb the Stock Exchange, three others pleaded guilty to funding fire arms training camps.

Today, as he outlined the prosecution case before sentencing, Andrew Edis QC said two of the men - Nazam Hussain, 26 and Usman Khan, 20 - were planning to visit Kashmir in January 2011

Khan was secretly recorded at his home in Stoke-on-Trent, talking about plans for a training camp, which was to be disguised as a legitimate "madrassa" or Islamic school,  Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Suggesting the terrorists could live on jobseeker's allowance, Khan was heard trying to persuade an unknown man to fly out to the camp in Kashmir, as the only options were "victory, martyrdom or prison".

"There's three things brothers can do - first is funding, second is getting brothers to go there, third is inciting, which everyone could do in their own community," he said.

"It is also quite clear that the hope is that there will be a significant number of UK citizens  who will attend there," Mr Edis explained. "When running a training camp of this kind, the prosecution say,
they create a risk that they themselves or other graduates of it will commit acts of terrorism wherever they find themselves to be, using the skills they have acquired."

At the start of mitigating evidence Christopher Blaxland QC, for Mohammed Chowdhury, 22, said his Bangladeshi client, who had a stammer and suffered from thyroid cancer in 2006, was inspired by Islamic extremists in the UK and attended "headline-catching, deliberately provocative"  demonstrations, including one on Remembrance Day where poppies were burned.

Despite being immersed in jihadi rhetoric, he insisted: "Ultimately the likelihood that he would have actually  done something is frankly extremely remote."

Last week Chowdhury along with fellow Londoner Shah Rahman, 29, as well as Abdul Miah, 25, and Gurukanth Desai, 30, both from Cardiff, admitted  to intending to commit an act of terrorism by planning to plant an explosive device at the London Stock Exchange.

Khan and Hussain along with Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, all from Stoke-on-Trent admitted to preparing acts of terrorism by attending meetings to discuss attacks as well as fund raising to support sending British men to training camps in Kashmir.

Omar Latif, 28, from Cardiff, pleaded guilty to attending meetings at which terrorist attacks were discussed while Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke-on-Trent, admitted owning copies of Inspire magazine.

The judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, indicated that he expects to pass sentence on Thursday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific