An al-Qaeda inspired gang of British Muslims planned to carry out “another 9/11” in the UK with up to eight suicide bombers, a court heard.
By Tom Whitehead and Sam Marsden
11:26AM BST 22 Oct 2012
A Jihadist group, from Birmingham, were to target crowded areas to cause “mass death” in a terror plot that was set to be even more devastating than the 7/7 London bombings, Woolwich Crown Court was told.
Two of the alleged ringleaders had received terror training in Pakistan and made martyrdom videos to be released after they had “blown themselves up”.
They were taught in bomb-making, how to use weapons and poisons before returning to the UK to recruit others for their plot.
That included arranging for others to be sent to Pakistan for training as well.
They planned to detonate homemade bombs in up to eight rucksacks and may also have blown others up with bombs on timers.
A total of 11 men and one woman were arrested by police on various terrorism charges last September.
The details emerged as the trial began today of the three central plotters.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all unemployed from Birmingham, all deny a number of terror charges including planning a bombing campaign, recruiting others for terrorism and terrorism fundraising.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, told the court: “In September 2011, and after, officers of the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested a number of young men from the Birmingham area, who are resident in this country.
“With it the police successfully disrupted a plan to commit an act or acts of terrorism on a scale potentially greater than the London bombings in July 2005, if it had been allowed to runs its course.
“Although the finer details had not been worked out and agreed upon, the defendants were proposing to detonate up to eight rucksack bombs in a suicide attack and/or detonate bombs on timers in crowded areas in order to cause mass deaths and casualties.
“As you will hear, one of them was even to describe their plan as ‘another 9/11’.”
He added: “The defendants are jihadists – extremists, influenced, in particular, but not exclusively, by the lectures and writings of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US born extremist of Yemeni descent, and an affiliate of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula.”
Awlaki was killed by a drone attack just 12 days after the three men were arrested.
Mr Altman said: “Each of the defendants made the deliberate decision to become a terrorist, following, what they believed to be, the right path dictated by their extreme religious and ideological beliefs.”