Another case which involves the Anarchist’s Cookbook..
Nicola Dowling, 25/ 9/2008
A MANCHESTER taxi driver was a secret member of al-Qaida who had a terrorists’ ‘contacts book’ with phone numbers written in invisible ink, a court was told.
Habib Ahmed, 28, of Cheetham Hill, attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and was funded in his activities by his wife Mehreen Haji, it was claimed.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court was told Habib Ahmed was called on to help conduct terrorist business in the UK and abroad by Rangzieb Ahmed, a 33-year-old Rochdale-born man who was an ‘important member’ of al-Qaida.
It was claimed that the terrorists’ contacts book belonged to Rangzieb Ahmed and that he gave it to Habib Ahmed.
The book was found when police secretly searched Habib’s luggage as he flew back to Britain from Dubai.
The two men, who are not related, deny they were members of al-Qaida and have gone on trial along with Habib Ahmed’s wife in a case which is expected to last up to three months.
Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said the investigation had involved the use of listening devices in a hotel room in Dubai and inside two cars in Manchester.
The jury was shown a series of documents including a flyer found at Habib Ahmed and Mehreen Haji’s North Manchester home showing a picture of a sub machine gun under the heading ‘Jihad in Manchester?’ – advertising an event with speakers at Longsight library.
Mr Edis said Habib Ahmed and Mehreen Haji had been interested in the idea of violent Jihad and had been married by Muslim cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad who was the leader of the now defunct organisation al-Mujaharoun.
The jury was shown a picture of the Sheikh at the wedding celebration and his signature on the couple’s marriage certificate.
The certificate also bore the name of witness, Hassan Butt who Mr Edis explained had given a number of interviews to newspapers saying he was a Taliban supporter and terrorist recruiter.
The jury was also told of books found at the couple’s home and information on a computer including evidence someone had looked up information from the Anarchist’s Cookbook including how to make explosives, lock picking and how to kill someone with your bare hands.
A book called ‘Join the Caravan’, which said fighting those occupying Muslim lands was a religious obligation was also found at the house.
Forensic examination of a computer found at the house revealed Mehreen Haji had been interested in the topic of Jihad and suicide missions because there was evidence of Google searches on whether they could be justified on religious grounds and notes she had made from those searches.
‘December 2005 to July and August 2006. That is the key period,’ Mr Edis said. ‘The prosecution say that during that time Rangzieb Ahmed who was a member of al Qaida – and an important member of al Qaida who was in a position to direct some of its activities – was engaged in an operation which involved him travelling to Dubai and intending to travel onward to South Africa, but being diverted – because something went wrong – to the UK.
‘He was travelling on important al Qaida business. In that exercise he was assisted by Habib Ahmed who flew out to Dubai to help him.
‘After they had met in Dubai they both separately flew to the UK arriving on or around Christmas or late December.
‘Rangzieb Ahmed stayed in the UK for most of the time until January 17 2006 when he flew out to Pakistan. During that time he was meeting al Qaida contacts and being assisted by Habib Ahmed.’
He added: ‘Rangzieb Ahmed is a British national born in Rochdale. He went to Pakistan when he was quite young and spent most of his life out of this country in other places. But his visits to this country in 2005 and 2006 are of importance. The prosecution say he came here when he was doing al Qaida business.
‘After he had gone Habib Ahmed remained in this country, it is where he lives. He continued to be a member of al Qaida and in April 2006 he went to a training camp in Pakistan to be trained in how to be an active terrorist. That costs money. When he was there his wife Mehreen Haji sent two tranches of money to him of £2,000 or thereabouts on each occasion.’
Mr Edis said that when Habib returned from Dubai via Holland his bags were secretly searched by the police there and found to contain three books.
‘The prosecution say that those books contained information of considerable importance to a terrorist because it is information which enables terrorists to communicate by email with each other secretly and also some important phone numbers for terrorist contacts – the contacts book of a terrorist,’ said Mr Edis.
The jury was told Ranggzieb Ahmed had admitted to being a member of another organisation banned in this country called Harkat-ul-Mujihadeen, but that he denied being a member of al Qaida.
Rangzieb Ahmed and Habib Ahmed are both charged with membership of Al Qaeda between January 1 2002 and September 1 2006 and possession of three books linked with terrorism between April 22 2004 and April 12 2006.
Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, of Barnston Avenue, Fallowfield is further charged with directing terrorism between April 22 2004 and August 24 2006 and possession of a rucksack containing traces of explosives between April 22 2004 and January 17 2006.
Habib Ahmed, 28, from Cheetham Hill faces additional charges of possession of information for terrorist purposes contained in books between April 13 2006 and August 24 2006 and electronic records connected with terrorism on August 23 2006.
He is also charged with attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan between April 23 2006 and June 27 2006. Mehreen Haji, 27, from Cheetham Hill, is charged with two counts of funding terrorism to the tune of £2,005 on May 11 2006 and £1,991 on May 12 2006 which was given to Habib Ahmed. They deny the charges.