April 30, 2007 / 12:34 PM / 13 years ago

FACTBOX-Britain's fertilizer bomb plotters

(Reuters) - Five Britons were found guilty on Monday of plotting al Qaeda-inspired bomb attacks across Britain using fertilizer-based explosives. Two men were cleared.

Here are some facts about the five:

OMAR KHYAM, AGE 25:

The alleged ringleader of the plot lived in Slough, west of London, although his family home was in Crawley, south of the capital. His family were said to be devout Muslims. His grandfather served in the British army.

A talented cricketer, Khyam did well at school but the jury was told he had grown to become heavily involved in violent jihad.

He told the court he was “happy” when he heard about the September 11 attacks on the United States, because he said America was the “greatest enemy of Islam”.

He said Osama bin Laden was loved by people in Afghanistan and Pakistan and had bragged about his masked face appearing in a video with the head of al Qaeda, according to Mohammed Babar, the U.S. militant who became the chief prosecution witness.

It was a claim that Babar did not believe, however.

In his testimony, Khyam said he had attended a camp in Pakistan in 2000 to train with Pakistan’s secret service, the ISI.

He admitted receiving training in weapons including rocket propelled grenade launchers, reconnaissance and sniping.

At one camp in June 2003 he met Babar and told him he wanted to carry out attacks in Britain. He was also said to have been in contact with al Qaeda’s number three, named as Abdul Hadi.

During the trial, he refused to give more evidence, saying the ISI had threatened his family in Pakistan.

WAHEED MAHMOOD, 34:

Mahmood, a father-of-four from Crawley, was a “fixer” who could get jihadi fighters into Afghanistan and arrange for them to get military training, according to Babar who first met him in November 2001 when he said he was a supporter of al Qaeda.

The court was told he was the “mind” behind the conspiracy who had suggested targets. He talked about poison plots targeting fans at soccer matches, Babar said in the trial.

He attended training camps in Pakistan. In Britain he worked for a subsidiary of National Grid Transco, the operator of Britain’s electricity and gas systems.

He did not give any evidence during the trial.

JAWAD AKBAR, 23:

Akbar was from Crawley and living in Uxbridge, west London, at the time of the plot. He admitted in court he had considered leaving Britain to become a jihadi fighter in Pakistan.

The trial also heard that he had suggested some of the most headline-grabbing targets for the planned bombings, such as the Ministry of Sound nightclub and utility supplies.

A handbook for Islamist fighters, the “Mujahideen Explosives Manual” was found in his home according to prosecutors, as was a U.S. military field guide.

ANTHONY GARCIA, 28:

Garcia, from Ilford, in Essex, east of London, told the jury he had thought about becoming a model.

He had bought the fertilizer, saying it was for his allotment — although the amount purchased was enough to cover five soccer pitches and it was the wrong time of year to use it.

He had gone to a training camp in Pakistan in 2003 where the prosecution said he issued instructions himself having had previous training.

He maintained that he believed the fertilizer was to help the people of Kashmir although he admitted knowing it would be used for making bombs. His lawyer said Garcia was a “bit of an idiot” and not the “brain of Britain”.

SALAHUDDIN AMIN, 31:

Amin was born in Pakistan and brought up in Luton, north of London from the age of 16. He worked as a cab driver and worshipped at a mosque in the town where he met Abu Munthir, who he said was a senior figure in al Qaeda.

Two months after the September 11 attacks he sold his house and returned to Pakistan. He told British police he was “brainwashed” by extremists and became involved in obtaining funding for Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, where a number of his acquaintances were killed fighting coalition forces.

He also attended a training camp where he met other members of the gang as they learnt how to use explosives, particularly those involving fertilizer. He and Khyam had tested them.

He admitted sending emails about how to make bombs to Khyam.

Amin was in Pakistan when the other suspects were rounded up by police in March 2004. He was arrested upon his return to Britain in February 2005.

He was the only defendant who admitted any role in the plot during interviews with British police. He said he had been tortured by Pakistani security services and U.S. officials had also threatened him.

However he retracted all the confessions when he gave evidence in court, saying the “inhumane” treatment in Pakistan had caused him to make the statements.

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