Paki's Beheading in UK plot
Islamic fanatic who plotted to kidnap soldier and broadcast his execution
Andrew Norfolk The Times London
The fanatical leader of an Islamist terror cell plotted to snatch a British Muslim soldier on leave and film him being beheaded â€ślike a pigâ€ť, a court heard yesterday. He wanted to broadcast the beheading â€śto cause panic and fear within the British Armed Forces and the wider publicâ€ť.
Parviz Khan, 37, from Birmingham, was enraged that there were Muslim soldiers in the British Army, Leicester Crown Court was told. He wanted to enlist the help of drug dealers to kidnap a soldier enjoying a night out in Birmingham. The victim would be lured to a car, then taken to a lock-up garage to be executed.
Nigel Rumfitt, QC, for the prosecution, told the jury that Khanâ€™s â€śmain activityâ€ť involved sending money and equipment to Pakistan for terrorists operating near the Afghan border.
Over two years he sent four shipments of items, including night-vision apparatus, â€śsnipersâ€™ glovesâ€ť and equipment to detect cameras and bugs. The plot to behead a soldier developed because of Khanâ€™s desire to move beyond the role of supplier to become â€śphysically involved in terrorismâ€ť. It was foiled because he came to the attention of the security services. Listening bugs were placed in his home and incriminating exchanges were recorded, although many of his conversations were about football or cricket.
Khan was recorded suggesting that when the soldier had been chosen â€śtwo lads will show blades and get him in the car and take him. Drag him into the car. There will be three men. They will put him in the car . . . itâ€™s not going to take more than 30 seconds. Itâ€™s not as if we are going to kill people there.â€ť
Mr Rumfitt told the jury that six men from Birmingham had been expected to stand trial in relation to the beheading plot, supplying equipment for terrorism and other offences. He explained that only two were in the dock yesterday because the other four had in the past fortnight pleaded guilty to the charges they faced.
Khan admitted plotting to kidnap and kill a soldier, supplying equipment for use in terrorism and two charges of possessing jihadi computer disks. Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, both pleaded guilty to helping Khan supply equipment for use in terrorism. Basiru Gassama, 30, has admitted that he failed to inform the authorities of the kidnap plot.
Amjad Mahmood, 32, and Zahoor Iqbal, 30, each deny a charge of supplying equipment for use in terrorism. Mr Mahmood, who worked in his familyâ€™s corner shop, also denies failing to disclose the kidnap plot. Mr Iqbal denies possessing a jihadist computer disk. They are said to have given active assistance to Khan.
Mr Rumfitt told the jury: â€śParviz Khan is a fanatic, a man who has the most violent and extreme Islamist views. He is at the centre of a terrorist cell or network based in Birmingham.â€ť
The equipment sent to Pakistan was designed to help terrorists â€śwho were trying to kill our soldiersâ€ť, he said.
Khanâ€™s desire to play a more active role was thwarted initially because he had to look after his sick mother and his bosses overseas made it clear that his supply line was vitally important, the court heard. He saw the soldier plot as a way of achieving more active participation in jihad while continuing to be a supplier, said Mr Rumfitt.
Some of the Muslims in the Army are from Gambia, and Khan asked Gassama, a Gambian, for help in selecting a target. He was heard discussing the plan with Khan in July 2006. Mr Rumfitt said that Gassama â€śnever came up with the details of any particular individualâ€ť and the plan lay dormant before Khan revived it in November 2006. He had a further conversation with Gassama, when it became clear that Khan â€śwas determined to go ahead with itâ€ť. He showed his visitor videos of other beheadings.
Gassama, who seemed to be torn between his support for Khanâ€™s cause and his conscience, never visited the house again and Mr Rumfitt said that there was no evidence that he gave Khan any help â€śbeyond giving him the impression that he would do soâ€ť.
But, Mr Rumfitt said, he failed to report Khan to the authorities. Khan turned to Mr Mahmood, who had extensive contacts in Birmingham. During a conversation recorded in December 2006, Khan talked with him about the possibility of tempting a soldier with â€śthe white stuffâ€ť, thought to be a reference to drugs, then â€śhaving a chit-chat with himâ€ť and â€śafterwards we can ambush him or whateverâ€ť.
Khan also asked Mr Mahmood whether he could â€śget the job doneâ€ť. Mr Rumfitt said: â€śItâ€™s apparent that Mahmood knows what he [Kham] is talking about. Itâ€™s that information which Mahmood should have taken straight to the authorities and didnâ€™t.â€ť
All six men were arrested on January 31 last year. The trial continues.
What was said
Quotes from some of the bugged conversations
Parviz Khan (to Amjad Mahmood) Could you get that other job done? . . . you know what, I have found the people who have said OK. If we can do it via the other personâ€™s lad, by having a chit chat with him and also by winning his interest by the white stuff . . . then afterwards we can ambush him or whatever.
If you give him the address, two lads will show blades and get him in the car and take him. If the other way, then just tell us where he lives. We will sort it. Drag him into the car. There will be three men, they will put him in the car . . . itâ€™s not going to take more than 30 seconds â€“ itâ€™s not as if we are going to kill people there
Zahoor Iqbal What are these normally used in camping for? To start a fire?
Khan Itâ€™s a fuel accelerator, obviously itâ€™s used in, er, as a detonator . . . when you mix the other thing, bang . . . [later] . . . God knows, but they say that the brothers 7/7 . . .that was used as one of the accelerants. They bought it from . . .
Khan (to Iqbal) Iâ€™ll send you one text from there, when I get there, to say everythingâ€™s OK, and then one text when the cargo clears. Iâ€™ll say, how are you? That means: fine, Iâ€™ve arrived safely through the airport, got home safe, cargo will mean X, Y and Z. Thursday, Friday Iâ€™ll text you that the cargo has been cleared