A Birmingham group accused of planning a huge suicide terror attack did not have the courage to admit their actions after being arrested, a court has heard.
Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, are part of a group of 11 men accused of being behind the plot, which could have been bigger than the July 7, 2005, atrocities.
Naseer and Khalid denied any knowledge of an attack when they were interviewed by detectives, their trial at Woolwich Crown Court was told. But Ali told detectives that he thought they were going “to test something”.
Prosecutor Brian Altman QC said: “He told police that the plan had been ‘to put on a jacket and have a gun’. What he said he meant was a suicide vest and that he would shoot people with a gun.”
The jury heard that Ali denied being a terrorist, but said that Naseer and Khalid had been to Pakistan and had come back radicalised. “They had received training in how to use weapons and how to make certain ‘things’,” Mr Altman said.
Ali told police there was never a need to walk away from Naseer and Khalid because the plot would have “faded out” and the pair would calm down.
In his opening speech, Mr Altman said: “In interview each of these defendants lied about their intentions and purpose, not having the courage to confront the truth of the action they had been planning, which through painstaking work by the authorities had been nipped in the bud. Only Ashik Ali came close, but sought to avoid his responsibility.”
The three men are accused of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, which they deny. Naseer is accused of five counts of the offence, Khalid four and Ali three, all between Christmas Day 2010 and September 19 last year.
For Naseer, from Sparkhill, Khalid, from Sparkbrook, and Ali, from Balsall Heath, all in Birmingham, this is alleged to have included planning a bombing campaign, collecting money for terrorism and recruiting others for terrorism.
Naseer and Khalid are also accused of travelling to Pakistan for training in terrorism, and it is alleged that Naseer also helped others to travel to the country for the same purpose.