British suspect planned attacks on U.S., UK, France targets, Kenyan court hears

MOMBASA, Kenya Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:09am EST

British citizen Jermaine Grant (C) is escorted into court for a hearing in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

British citizen Jermaine Grant (C) is escorted into court for a hearing in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa May 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Joseph Okanga

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MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - British national Jermaine Grant, on trial in Kenya accused of planning an attack there, was targeting British, French and U.S. interests, a London detective told the court on Tuesday.

Kenyan police suspect Grant, from east London, has ties to the Somali al Shabaab rebel group blamed by the authorities for a string of attacks in the port city of Mombasa, the capital Nairobi and in the remote hinterlands bordering Somalia.

Steve Ball, a London police forensic examiner, said officers had retrieved files gathered from several websites, including instructions on making chemical bombs and literature related to jihad, from a memory device belonging to Grant.

"There were documents recovered from the disk which called for Muslim faithful to attack Egyptian, British, French and American interests, and their partners," Ball said in a report he read out to the court as evidence.

Kenyan police had requested London police's help in the investigation into Grant.

He denies the charge against him of planning an attack after being found with bomb-making material that included batteries, wire, ammonium nitrate, lead nitrate, acetone and hydrogen peroxide when he was arrested in 2012 in Mombasa.

Ball said the documents they found did not specify where the targets were.

Kenya is still reeling from an al Shabaab attack on a luxury shopping mall in Nairobi, popular with foreigners, where at least 67 people were killed in September.

Among the documents recovered in the disk was one labeled "Mujahedeen Explosive Handbook" and another titled "Explosives Introduction" which referred to bomb attacks in Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, Ball said.

"These files speak for themselves and show the person's interest in the construction of an improvised explosive device ... and with the chemicals, files show intent to obtain the materials to make such a device," Ball told the court.

"The majority of the documents found on the disk are ideological and extreme in their views, and tend to advocate for the taking up of arms in the name of jihad."

Ball said of 127 files that had been deleted on the disk, 125 were recovered at British police laboratories

He said voltmeters recovered from Grant's apartment could be used to construct bomb detonator circuits.

Grant was arrested in an apartment prosecutors say he shared with Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of a suicide bomber involved in the July 2005 attacks on London's transport network.

She is wanted by Kenyan police on terrorism related charges but is still on the run. Lewthwaite is believed to have evaded arrest two years ago in Mombasa, where she is wanted in a plot to bomb hotels and restaurants, while working with Grant.

Grant is on trial with his Kenyan female companion Islam Warda and Frank Nyengo, both of who deny the same charge. Another suspect, Fouad Abubakar escaped after he had been released on bail.

(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (5)
Overcast451 wrote:
*He said voltmeters recovered from Grant’s apartment could be used to construct bomb detonator circuits.*

They have those at Home Depot and Lowe’s too – BETTER GO GET THEM BEFORE THE TERRORISTS DO!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait – the REAL terrorists are in Political office, how silly of me to forget!

Feb 18, 2014 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
Tiu wrote:
@Overcast451, the problem is probably more that he lives/d in East London. He’s probably not the only one, and he probably feels he doesn’t belong in the society he lives in. A bit of a bomb in itself, with or without common toolbox appliances. There’s no shortage of disgruntled preachers for him to follow, London’s full of them – you see and hear them all over the city.

Feb 18, 2014 11:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:
Britain, is a tinderbox of hate and unrest amongst its minorities and a few others..there is no shortage, of mullahs, who preach nothing but hate…with no one next to them, to point out the opposite, of their views…it is a way of democracy….but direct calls for violence and killing, even in democracies, should be against the law and prosecuted to the fullest extent …if someone threatened directly, or indirectly,to kill a head of state, then they are swooped up in milliseconds.. but if a mullah says go out, kill, maim, torture the americans, or the brits..that’s ok…to me that is crazy, its worse than threatening a head of state, as it threatens more than one person..each life has the same value, no more, no better

Feb 18, 2014 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
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