Terrorist Suspects Allegedly Discussed Plan to Crash British Airways Jet

June 19, 2006
London suspects believed to have concepted variety of attacks

LONDON_Prosecutors at the trial of an alleged terrorist cell played a recording Friday in which two of the men purportedly discuss plans to crash a British Airways plane carrying hundreds of passengers.

On the tape, recorded when the cell was under surveillance by the security services, a voice alleged to be that of suspect Omar Khyam says the plan was "just an idea."

"Imagine you've got a plane, 300 people in it, you buy tickets for 30 brothers in there," he said. "They're massive brothers, you just crash the plane. You could do it easy, it's just an idea."

Later he is heard to say: "The beauty of it is they don't have to fly into a building, just crash the flipping thing."

Khyam, 24, and six others are standing trial on charges related to an alleged plot to set off an explosion in London.

Khyam, Anthony Garcia, 24; Nabel Hussain, 20; Jawad Akbar, 22; Waheed Mahmood, 34; Shujah ud Din Mahmood, 19; and Salahuddin Amin, 31, deny a charge of conspiring to cause an explosion.

Khyam, Garcia and Hussain deny a second charge of possession of ammonium nitrate fertilizer for possible use in terrorism. Khyam and Shujah ud Din Mahmood, who are brothers, also deny a charge of possession of aluminum powder for possible use in terrorism.

Prosecutors have told the jury that the men were tracked for months by police and intelligence agents before their arrest in March 2004. A surveillance team recorded 3,500 hours of audio from bugs in homes and cars.

TV cameras and microphones also were placed at a self-storage depot where the plotters allegedly stored fertilizer, and cameras watched two suspects' homes and three Internet cafes.

The trial, which began in March, is expected to last for several more months.