'Airline plot' video 'meant as documentary', court hears

A British Muslim accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic airliners said today he agreed to take part in an “al-Qaida-style militant” video attacking western foreign policy.

Tanvir Hussain (aged 27) flatly denied the footage he recorded alongside five of his eight co-defendants in July 2006 was a series of martyrdom videos.

He said the videos were intended to be put into a political documentary also containing “shocking images of people dying in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine” to urge the Government to change its actions abroad.

Hussain told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court how he had been “taken aback” when his friend and co-defendant Abdulla Ahmed Ali (aged 27) had also revealed, during discussions at his flat in April 2006, a plan to make and detonate a device in a politically sensitive area.

Hussain said: “He said to me it ain’t going to be nothing big, just a loud bang to cause panic and alarm.”

Asked by his defence barrister Michel Massih QC if he had queried whether the plan carried any intention of killing, he replied: “I didn’t ask him. I know Ahmed wouldn’t do nothing like that.”

Hussain is one of eight men on trial accused on conspiring to murder and to endanger aircraft.

Prosecutors claim the men planned to smuggle improvised liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks on board and detonate them.

They deny the offences.

The defendants are: Abdulla Ahmed Ali (aged 27) of Prospect Hill, Walthamstow, east London, Assad Sarwar (aged 28), of Walton Drive, High Wycombe, Bucks; Tanvir Hussain (aged 27), of Nottingham Road, Leyton, east London; Mohammed Gulzar (aged 26), of Priory Road, Barking, east London; Ibrahim Savant (aged 27), of Denver Road, Stoke Newington, north London; Arafat Waheed Khan (aged 27), of Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow; Waheed Zaman (aged 24), of Queen’s Road, Walthamstow; and Umar Islam, aka, Brian Young (aged 30) of Bushey Road, Plaistow, east London.

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