Thursday, March 23, 2006

Al Qaeda's Moscow Link

The UK Times reports that
An alleged Islamist terrorist accused of planning attacks on targets in Britain was involved in a plot to buy a "dirty bomb" from the Russian mafia, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Salahuddin Amin was said to have been entrusted by senior figures in a terror cell in Pakistan to act as a go-between in their planned purchase of the radioactive device.

He is standing trial alongside six alleged accomplices for conspiring to detonate explosives at key sites in Britain, causing maximum damage and fatalities. Among the intended targets were the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the National Grid, synagogues and a nightclub in Central London, the court was told during the second day of the trial.

However, the plotters did not realise that as they pondered which of many potential targets to strike, their movements were being monitored by police, David Waters, QC, for the prosecution, said. Some of their cars and homes had been bugged. One defendant, Jawad Akbar, allegedly said in a recording: “The biggest nightclub in Central London. No one can put their hands up and say they are innocent — those slags dancing around.”

Mr Amin was said in 2001 to have moved to Pakistan where he attended explosives and weapons training camps with five of the other men and supplied equipment for jihad (holy war).

Mr Waters told the jury: “An indication to the trust imposed in Amin and his position in the Pakistani end of the organisation is gained from the passing of information to him in relation to a radioisotope bomb.”

Referring to alleged senior terrorists, Mr Waters said that Mr Amin was asked by Pakistan-based militants to contact a man named Abu Annis. Through Annis contact had been made via the internet with Russian mafia based in Belgium.
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