Jury in July 21 trial shown footage of beheadings

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The jury in the July 21 terror trial yesterday saw footage of executions and the making of a suicide vest which was allegedly found in two of the defendants' flats.

In one execution scene, three masked men stood behind an unknown man who was kneeling on the ground.

A man in a red hood spoke to the camera and images of warfare were shown.

He then pulled out a knife, put his left hand on the victim's head and put the knife to his throat.

At this point the film was cut and junior prosecutor Alison Morgan told Woolwich Crown Court what happened next.

"He then goes on to cut the throat of the victim, dismembers his body and holds it up to the camera," she said.

In another scene, a blindfolded man was seen in a shallow ditch.

The film was again cut and Miss Morgan explained that his throat was slashed and his head cut off and shown to the camera.

This footage was among a number of videos and audio cassettes allegedly found at the "bomb factory" in Curtis House, New Southgate, north London, where Yassin Omar is said to have lived, the court heard.

The jury was also shown footage allegedly discovered at Blair House near Stockwell, south London, where Hussain Osman is said to have lived.

It included images of 9/11 and people apparently constructing home-made bombs and a ball-bearing suicide vest.

The vest was then detonated on a dummy and the impact of the explosion on large metal plates the dummy was standing next to was shown.

There were also a number of executions and beheadings including those of an apparent Egyptian spy, a Korean man, a US electrical engineer and a CIA agent, as well as the same execution - by the red hooded man - that was allegedly discovered on film at Curtis House.

Each time footage was shown it was cut before the fatal shot was fired or the blade slashed the victim's throat.

Miss Morgan also warned the nine woman, three man jury what was about to happen beforehand.

Some of the other Curtis House material the south-east London court was shown included images of the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack on US barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996, with men lying dead on the ground after being shot with a Kalashnikov and grainy black and white footage from an aircraft showing bombs being dropped.

One sequence consisted of a documentary about Richard the Lionheart and then a man - apparently Iraqi - being shot by US marines and a marine in interview saying: "Lets do it again".

This was followed by a hooded man dressed in camouflage clothing with a gun in his hand rapping "Dirty Kuffar" which encouraged jihad, Miss Morgan explained.

There was also a BBC newsreel from July 7, 2005 and speeches by al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and radical cleric Abu Hamza.

"One hour on the battlefield is better than 70 years of worship," Hamza apparently said.

He also said "Islam is a militant religion" and "It's not called a suicide bomb, it's called a martyrdom bomb".

At one point while the two-and-a-half hour compilation of footage was played, one woman juror had her hand over her mouth.

The judge, Mr Justice Fulford, told the jury: "Some of this footage is not the most pleasant.

"View this dispassionately, don't be upset about it, and I'm sorry that today is a rather more difficult day than usual."

Six men are accused of plotting to carry out a series of murderous explosions on the London transport system using homemade hydrogen peroxide bombs.

They are Omar, 26, Osman, 28, formally of no fixed address; Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, of Stoke Newington, north London; Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address; Ramzi Mohammed, 25, of North Kensington, west London; and Adel Yahya, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, north London.

They all deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.