'Terror propaganda film made in town park'

A film showing two would-be terrorists dressed in camouflage, crawling across a town centre park in broad daylight was played to a jury today.

One of the duo apparently carried a rifle as he rustled through Corporation Park in Blackburn, Lancashire.



The video, made by a group calling themselves "The Blackburn Resistance", was al-Qa'ida-style propaganda destined to be distributed abroad, Manchester Crown Court heard.



It was among material found in a mobile phone storage card discovered in the suitcase of Abbas Iqbal when he was arrested trying to board a flight from Manchester Airport to northern Europe in August 2008.



Abbas Iqbal, 24, was said to have filmed his brother Ilyas, 23 and Muhammed Ali Ahmad, 26, on the park training exercise.



All three are accused of being "intoxicated by the evil of terrorism" as they prepared to join or carry out violent jihad.



Edward Brown QC said the "promotional collage" for The Blackburn Resistance was among material which Abbas Iqbal and another alleged extremist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had intended to radicalise others.



The video was introduced by a voice stating "They are fighting against oppression, they are The Blackburn Resistance", before it showed two of the group crawling through woodland and across a path in the park.



In the background, words in a foreign language chanted: "I am the armour for those who believe in the unity of Allah. I am the fire against the aggressor.



"I am the machine gun against the one who starts fighting. I am the one whose sun is shining. Over my day and my pride."



Video clips of the trio holding and firing weapons while shouting "Allah Akbar" (God is Great) in a backyard were also found on the storage card, along with photographs of them in camouflaged clothing and carrying weapons.



The Iqbal family home in Percival Street, Blackburn, was later extensively searched by police who discovered a camcorder video tape which showed Abbas Iqbal holding a young boy and raising a machete.



Playing the tape in court, Mr Brown told the jury: "It is plainly a joke and he obviously has no intention of hurting the boy."



The boy, aged about eight, is on camera in a room with two girls as Abbas Iqbal holds the weapon and, in Urdu, says: "This is what I am going to do to somebody. God willing, when I find a Kuffar (non-believer), this I show, I am going to take his head off."



Both Iqbal brothers and Ahmad, of Whalley Range, Blackburn, deny preparing for acts of terrorism between April 30 2006 and August 14 2008.



Abbas Iqbal also denies disseminating terrorist publications and possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist.



Ilyas Iqbal pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing documents likely to be useful to a terrorist.





A desktop computer containing extremist material was discovered in the living room at Percival Street and an armoury stockpile was found in a weapons cabinet, the prosecutor said.

The cabinet contained numerous air rifles, knives, machetes, a sword, a crossbow, various ammunition, books on weaponry and handwritten notes on "Attack planning" and "Urban combat",



When former butcher Abbas Iqbal was arrested holding a wooden staff on August 14 2008 in his possession were said to be six gold-coloured blank bullets and a leaflet entitled The Corruption of Terrorism.



An image of him holding a large knife was found on his mobile phone which had the user name "The Butcher".



Security guard Ilyas Iqbal was arrested the same day at his workplace at Express Gifts in Church, near Accrington.



Police inspected the security lodge and found a rucksack containing a hunting knife and books entitled The Afghanistan Wars and Vietnam War Diary.



A green exercise book in the name Ilyas was found in a cabinet where he stored personal effects while at work.



It contained the following notes: "Valour and Heroism. Fear of death is unknown to the mujahideen. They are therefore most fearless and valorous" and "One Man's Terrorist another man's freedom fighter".



At the time of his arrest, Mr Brown said, Ahmad - a white Muslim born as Paul Cryer - was employed as a part-time counter assistant at Alliance Chemists in Accrington Road, Blackburn.



Mr Brown said: "Muhammed Ahmad described himself to co-workers as a 'revert' to Islam, meaning that he believed he was born a Muslim but had converted to another faith and then reverted back to Islam.



"He wore traditional Islamic dress and carried a staff of carved wood.



"The defendant appeared argumentative to those at the shop. He would often engage in conversations with co-workers about politics, especially in respect of his opposition to the British and American policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine."



The prosecutor said one colleague, Nicola Clark, felt he would display strong views on a number of related topics, including that he thought the deaths of soldiers in Iraq "was not a problem because they should not have been there in the first place and were killing innocent people".

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