Trio’s charity street collection used to pay for terrorism plot, trial told
MEMBERS of the public were duped into donating thousands of pounds to fund a suicide terror attack planned for Britain, a court has heard.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, were among a group of men who posed as collectors from the Muslim Aid (MA) charity, complete with T-shirts and hi-vis tabards, to carry out street collections and door-to-door pleas for cash in Birmingham and Leicester last year, their trial at Woolwich Crown Court was told yesterday.
However, the charity received just a fraction of the Ramadan collection cash in August last year, with the majority being kept to finance the plot, the jury heard.
Notes found by police suggested that they collected £12,100, but the court was told they also lost £9,149.39 from their gains by using it to trade in foreign currency over four weeks.
The court earlier heard that the men, two of whom are alleged to have received terrorist training in Pakistan, planned to detonate a series of suicide bombs in an attack that could have been bigger than the 7 July, 2005 atrocities.
Yesterday, the jury heard that Ali registered two accounts on eBay’s online charity website “half in jest” in September 2006 with the user names “terrorshop” and “shopterror”, using the email address beÑterror@yahoo.co.uk.
Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said that one of the accounts was closed down by eBay in October 2006.
“The second account remains active, but, like the first, has never been used,” he said.
“However, both reveal his [Ali’s] mindset even then, even if the usernames he chose were registered half in jest.” He said the men wore MA T-shirts and tabards in order to “beguile the public into believing this was legitimate charity collecting, when it wasn’t”. He said: “That money was stolen and… was not intended by the defendants to be used for any other legitimate purpose other than terrorism..”
Mr Altman said the collections took place soon after Naseer and Khalid returned from terror training in the Taleban and al-Qaeda stronghold of Waziristan in Pakistan at the end of July last year.
All the men are accused of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, which they deny.
Naseer is accused of five counts of the offence, Khalid four and Ali three, all between Christmas Day 2010 and 19 September last year.
For Naseer, from Sparkhill, Khalid, from Sparkbrook, and Ali, from Balsall Heath, all in Birmingham, this is alleged to have included planning a bombing campaign, collecting money for terrorism and recruiting others for terrorism.
Naseer and Khalid are also accused of travelling to Pakistan for training in terrorism, and it is alleged that Naseer also helped others to travel to the country for the same purpose.
The trial continues today.
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