Plotter 'ran terrorist training exercises'

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The Independent Online

A terrorist plotter who described himself as "Osama bin London" ran military-style training exercises around Britain as he planned a string of attacks, a court heard yesterday.

Mohammed Hamid, who organised the camps for young British Muslims, counted among his "pupils" the al-Qa'ida sympathisers who planned to bomb London's transport network on 21 July 2005, it was alleged. But the camps were infiltrated by an undercover police officer who claimed he wanted to convert to Islam, prosecutors said. The officer was with Hamid, 50, as they drove past west London's Paddington Green police station, where many terror suspects are questioned, and 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.

David Farrell QC, prosecuting at Woolwich Crown Court, presented mobile phone footage which showed men and a boy crawling along the ground and making forward rolls. He asked jurors: "What you see in these sections is not mere religious instruction, is it? The prosecution say these video clips show basic military training. Training which prepared them for further military training. It forms the first part of their terrorist training."

One of Hamid's deputies was Atilla Ahmet, a former preacher at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, the court was told. The 43-year-old, who admits soliciting murder, was secretly recorded at a restaurant in south London last September, expressing fears that the group was being watched. On the tape, he spoke of needing to get their "stories straight". Minutes later, he, Hamid and three other London-based suspects were arrested by armed police.

Mr Farrell 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."

Hamid, of Clapton; 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 variety of terrorism charges and the trial continues.