Jury shown footage of 'terror camp training' video

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The Independent Online

Footage of a group of men allegedly carrying out terrorist training activities in New Forest, Hampshire, was shown to a jury yesterday during the trial of five men accused of planning to carry out attacks on London.

The video clips, recorded on a mobile phone, were shown at Woolwich Crown Court in the trial of the gang, which was led by a man who allegedly described himself as "Osama bin London". The court has heard how those convicted of attempting to carry out a "second wave" of attacks on the London Underground two weeks after the July 7, 2005 bombings, attended the alleged training camps.

The first images of the "training exercises" showed a man, dressed in black, dropping to the floor with a long stick which was said to be used as a mock rifle. In a later clip, two men carry out military-style rolls repeatedly, also with sticks. During the clips someone is heard shouting "don't waste time". A third clip shows a man taking a running jump at a stream.

Before the footage was shown the court heard from an Army officer who described the exercises as similar to that used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Referring to the man who bounced on his knees with the stick, the officer, "Soldier A", said: "I have seen that used as a method of carrying a weapon system. It is not something that is taught by the British Army. I have seen it used by insurgents while in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is a favoured position of insurgents and Taliban."

The prosecutor, David Farrell QC, asked: "With what type of weapon?" The soldier said: "An AK-47." Soldier A went on to describe the rolls, which appeared to be evade to dodge attacks, as having "no tactical use whatsoever".

At one point, a man attempting the jump across the stream falls short from his target and can be heard being mocked with laughter, including from the camera operator.

The men also practiced "fireman's lifts" which Soldier A said could be used to carry wounded men from the scene of an attack. Mohammed Hamid, 50, of Clapton, east London, allegedly led a group of four others and organised the camp.

All five of the accused deny terror-related offences. Hamid and Kibley da Costa, 24, of West Norwood; Mousa Brown, 41, of Walthamstow; Mohammed Al-Figari, 42, of Tottenham, and Kader Ahmed, 20, of Plaistow, deny a range of terrorism charges.

Earlier this month the court heard how the camps were infiltrated by an undercover police officer who claimed he wanted to convert to Islam. At one point the officer was with Hamid as they drove past west London's Paddington Green police station, where many terror suspects are questioned, when Hamid allegedly shouted: "Here is your terrorist. I'm here, come and get me." The incident is said to have taken place in 2004 after one of Hamid's camps in the New Forest.

Prosecutors said a listening bug planted by MI5 recorded Hamid speaking to the group at his east London home, telling them: "We are supposed to take on two kuffars [non-believers]. One Muslim is supposed to take on two kuffars. Lucky if we could take on one kuffar."

The trial continues.