Great Britain – Group accused of terrorism plot go on trial

Seven men accused of plotting to detonate 600 kilograms (about 1,300 pounds) of explosives in Britain were close to mounting a terrorist attack when they were caught by police, a prosecutor said Tuesday as their trial opened.

Omar Khyam, 24, Anthony Garcia (also known as Rahman Adam), 24, Nabel Hussain, 20, Jawad Akbar, 22, Waheed Mahmood, 33, Salahuddin Amin, 31, and Shujah ud Din Mahmood, 19, are accused of planning a bombing attack in Britain between January 2003 and March 2004.

"The interception came only when most of the necessary components were in place and all that remained before their plans achieved their ultimate goal was for the target or targets to be finally agreed," prosecutor David Waters said.

"They played their respective roles in a plan to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture a bomb or bombs which would be deployed at the very least to destroy strategic plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically to kill and injure citizens of the U.K.," Waters said.

"They were intercepted before the plot could reach fruition."

The three allegedly kept the material at a storage facility in Hanwell, west London , between November 2003 and March 2004, the papers said.

Khyam and Mahmood also were charged with possession of aluminum powder for use in a terrorist act. The substance can be used is the manufacture of bombs.

The men were arrested following a series of police raids in southeastern England in 2004.

Judge Michael Astill warned the jury of seven men and five women that there had been "much discussion and debate" following the transit bombings in London last year, but that they must ignore any reporting about the subject of terrorism.

Fifty-two subway and bus passengers were killed along with the four suspected bombers in the July 7 attacks in London , reports the AP.

D.M.