- Papers presented at trial of Abid Naseer, 28, accused of bomb plots in UK
- Documents were uncovered during special forces raid on house in 2011
- Also included plans of attacks across Europe and U.S embassy in Moscow
- Naseer is alleged to have planned attack on Manchester shopping centre
- Pakistani national, deported in 2013, denies charges at court in Brooklyn
Plans for an attack on UK soil were found at the Pakistani compound of Osama Bin Laden when it was raided by U.S special forces in 2011, a terror trial has been told.
The Al-Qaeda paperwork, featuring correspondence from senior al-Qaeda operatives, also described planned attacks across Europe and Russia, including plans to bomb a pipeline or the U.S embassy in Moscow.
The declassified papers were presented at the trial of Abid Naseer, who is accused of plotting to attack Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre in 2009.
The 28-year-old is alleged to have been at the helm of a British al-Qaeda terror cell that was part of a broader conspiracy ‘to repeat the devastation of 9/11’.
Prosecutors called it one of the most serious terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
As well as blowing up the Arndale Centre, the terror group planned to set off bombs in the New York subway and at the offices of a Copenhagen newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, it is alleged.
Naseer, a former student in the UK studying English and computer science, denies the charges.
He is being tried in the United States because of the supposed link to the subway. He faces life in prison if he is convicted.
At today’s hearing in Brooklyn, New York, the documents were read to the court by an FBI linguist who translated them from Arabic.
The court was told how the documents discussed a range of al-Qaeda business, from operational tactics to training methods. They also offered suggestions on how to avoid detection by police or secret services, the court heard.
One letter stressed the importance of attacking the U.S. ‘in its heartland’ because it ‘has the most significance’ and ‘cannot be compared’ to an attack outside the country, the court heard.
The goal of an attack would be ‘to pressure 300 million Americans,’ who vote for their elected officials, to end the nation’s war against al-Qaeda and its goal of establishing an Islamic state, the letters said.
None of the letters mentioned Naseer by name, but the court was told they made a reference to the arrest of an alleged al-Qaeda operative, showing the intentions of the terror group.
Among the documents in the possession of the prosecutors is a letter sent to Bin Laden by senior aide Saleh Al-Somali.
‘We sent a number of brothers to Russia and Britain,’ the letter read, according to federal prosecutor Zainab Ahmad.
Those sent to the UK were given free rein to decide what to do when they got there, the court heard.
Through the letter, Bin Laden was then told things had gone smoothly but that there were concerns over a some terror suspects who had been held by British police, the court heard.
The letter read: ‘We have not ascertained if these had anything to do with us.’
Naseer was first arrested in 2009 in Britain with 11 other men suspected of preparing an attack against the Manchester mall, and was extradited to the United States from Britain in 2013.
The other men were released without charge, but Naseer was arrested again in July 2010 at the request of U.S prosecutors.
Yesterday, five British agents from MI5 gave evidence to the court about their surveillance of the 12 suspects in Manchester and Liverpool as part of what was called Operation Pathway.
They told how they given the suspects codenames – Small Panel, Glass Pendant, Happy Skater and Regional Difference. Small Panel was the name given to Naseer.
The trial continues.
source: Mail Online