Terror suspects 'played tennis amid bomb planning'

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The Independent Online

Several members of a gang of British Islamic terrorists played tennis together as they finalised their plans to attack transatlantic aircraft, a court heard today.

Undercover police watched at least three of the men play sport together in east London in late July 2006, Woolwich Crown Court was told.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said the games took place among regular visits to a Walthamstow flat where the men prepared their liquid bombs and recorded suicide videos.

The jury was shown surveillance footage showing some of the defendants visiting the top-floor Forest Road flat on July 28 and 30.

Mr Wright also described defendant Arafat Waheed Khan as an important link between the Walthamstow and High Wycombe part of the alleged conspiracy.

He told the court there was evidence from his passport that Khan had travelled to Pakistan between October 2005 and January 2006 at the same time as co-defendants Abdulla Ahmed Ali and Assad Sarwar.

He said: "It is the Crown's case that not only was he one of the intended suicide bombers but that he was also an important conduit between Ali and Sarwar.

"In other words, between the Walthamstow and High Wycombe ends of this particular conspiracy. That he was liaising between them and also directly involved in the purchase of equipment that was used in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices.

"He was also responsible for appearing in two separate suicide videos."