Alleged British terrorists plotted to poison burgers and beer, FBI informant claims
LONDON – An alleged al-Qaida terrorist plotting a bomb attack on Britain told accomplices to sell contaminated beer at soccer games or poisoned hamburgers from street vending stalls, an FBI informant told a court Friday.Waheed Mahmood, 34, accused with six other British men of plotting a terror strike, claimed during a meeting in Pakistan that he had already tested the poison plan, said the witness, Mohammed Junaid Babar.Babar, 31, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, has testified that he met a group of British Islamic militants in Pakistan who planned to bomb Britain’s electricity network, a London nightclub or one of Europe’s largest shopping malls, a 330-store center in southern England.Babar, who secretly pleaded guilty to several terrorist offenses in New York federal court, including having links with al-Qaida, said the poison plan was raised by Mahmood during a meeting at the Pakistan home of another suspect, Salahuddin Amin, in a village outside Lahore, Pakistan, in February 2003.Babar, who was escorted by two U.S. marshals and protected by armed British officers outside the courtroom doors, claimed Mahmood said “you could get a job in a soccer stadium as a beer vendor.””You just put poison in a syringe, inject it in a beer can and put a sticker on it, which would stop it leaking, and hand them out,” Babar said, recounting Mahmood’s proposal.He said he also suggested getting “a mobile vending cart selling burgers, just poison those. You could set up a shop on a street corner and sell poisoned burgers and then all you have to do is leave the area.”Omar Khyam, 24; Anthony Garcia, 24; Nabel Hussain, 20; Jawad Akbar, 22; Mahmood; Shujah ud Din Mahmood, 19; and Amin, 31 – face life imprisonment if convicted of a charge of conspiring to cause an explosion.Babar, who had worked for a Pakistani software firm, said that in March 2003 Wahid Mahmood had asked for three computers for “the brothers,” which he said he took to mean for “members of al-Qaida.”In late April 2002, he showed Mahmood a secret weapons store, close to his home in Lahore, and told him “to take them if he needed them,” Babar said.”There were AK-47s and AK-47 magazines, about 2,000 to 3,000 rounds of ammunition and grenades,” Babar said. “We had buried them in the area outside Punjab University.”He said both Khyam and Amin had told him on trips to Pakistan that they were working for a man called Abu Hadi, who “was the No. 3 in al-Qaida.”Khyam, Garcia and Hussain deny a second charge of possession of ammonium nitrate fertilizer for possible use in terrorism. Khyam and Shujah ud Din Mahmood, who are brothers, also deny a charge of possession of aluminum powder for possible use in terrorism.
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