Jan 15, 2007
The six men deny conspiracy to cause explosions and to murder
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Six men plotted to carry out a series of "murderous suicide bombings" on London's public transport system, a court has been told.
The men were engaged in an "extremist Muslim plot" to target the capital on July 21, 2005, Woolwich Crown Court heard on Monday.
The attacks would have happened just 14 days after the "carnage" of the July 7 London bombings, which killed 52 commuters and four bombers, the court heard.
The jury was told that the conspiracy "had been in existence long before the events of July 7" and did not appear to be some "hastily arranged copycat," prosecutor Nigel Sweeney told the court.
The devices were made using a mix of liquid hydrogen peroxide, chapati flour, acetone and acid, the court heard.
Each bomb was placed in a large plastic container in a knapsack and screws, tacks, washers or nuts, were taped to the outside to "maximize the possibility of injury," Sweeney said.
On July 21, devices were triggered, again on three subway trains and a double-decker bus. They failed to detonate fully, and no one was injured.
Forensic scientists had tested the mixture, however, and "in every experiment this mixture has exploded," Sweeney said.
"We say that the failure of these bombs to explode has nothing to do with the intentions of the defendants. It was simply the good fortune of the traveling public that this day they were spared."
Sweeney said four of the defendants successfully fired their detonators but the main charge failed to explode, possibly because of the hot weather on July 21, or because the proportion of hydrogen peroxide was not quite right.
A fifth man "lost his nerve at the last moment" and dumped his rucksack device in woodland, Sweeney said.
Ibrahim Muktar Said, 28, Ramzi Mohamed, 25, Yassin Omar, 26, Manfu Asiedu, 33, Adel Yahya, 24, and Hussain Osman, 28 -- all from London -- deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.
The jury heard that Omar's one-bedroom flat in north London was the conspirators' bomb factory, "where the great majority, if not all, of the work required to make those bombs was carried out."
Sweeney said Mohamed was seen trying to set off his bomb facing a woman with a pushchair and was wearing a top with New York on it, "no doubt connected with the events of 9/11."
He said films featuring images of beheadings of Western hostages and other attacks, including those on September 11 in New York, had been found in two of the defendants' flats.
Three of the accused attended sermons by the radical Islamic preacher Abu Hamza at London's Finsbury Park Mosque, one received military training in Sudan, while four went on a camping trip to Scotland in 2004 to "get fit for jihad," Sweeney said.
Most of the suspects, who are largely of East African descent, were arrested in Britain a few days after the failed bombings. Osman was held in Rome a week after the attacks. He told police the bombs were only intended to scare people, the court heard.
It was disclosed that five of the six men had been under surveillance by police during a camping trip almost 15 months before their alleged bombing attempt.