A Birmingham man who liked to drink, smoke and go clubbing turned into an Islamist fanatic who plotted to kidnap and kill a British Muslim soldier, a court heard yesterday.
Parviz Khan has admitted the plan to lure a soldier off the streets of Birmingham with cocaine and film his beheading and has pleaded guilty to the supply of equipment to terrorists.
Yesterday a Leicester Crown Court jury was told how the 37-year-old from Alum Rock, had not always been religious but had become increasingly fanatical and "anti-West" after trips to Pakistan.
And it heard how he boasted to a friend that he was working for al Qaida.
Zahoor Iqbal (30), is accused of helping Khan to send equipment for terrorist activities on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He denies the claim, saying he thought his trips to wholesalers with his long-time friend were to buy relief aid for the victims of the Kashmir earthquake in October 2005.
But he told jurors how he had watched his friend become increasingly anti-Western in his views.
Asked by Kieran Vaughan, defending, what type of character Khan was in his 20s, Iqbal told jurors that his friend "went out clubbing, drinking, smoking" and was not religious.
But a series of four trips to Pakistan saw Khan transform from a non-practising Muslim into an Islamist fanatic obsessed with anti-western propaganda.
Referring to Khan's behaviour after a visit to Pakistan in 2004, Iqbal said: "The TV had disappeared in his living room. It was odd. I was brought up with TV.
"He became more anti-West, blaming Britain for the Israel-Palestine issue, Kashmir, civilians dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Before the trip, he prayed five times (a day) but to me he just cared for his mum for 24 hours a day.
"He was isolated from his friends but there was nothing untoward to suggest anything because he looked after his mum."
By 2006, after another trip to the sub-continent, Khan's religious views had become more extreme, he told the jury.
Then in a conversation, bugged by police who had Khan under surveillance, Khan told Iqbal that he was working for al Qaida. "I found it very difficult to believe," said Iqbal. All I had seen was what was in his house, which was nothing to suggest that what he was doing was supplying al Qaida.
"I thought he was just talking and because all the media stuff he was listening to was brainwashing him."
Iqbal is also charged with being in possession of a record or document that would be useful to a terrorist, namely a CD called Encyclopaedia Jihad.
Amjad Mahmood (32), of Jackson Road, Alum Rock, is in the dock with Iqbal, accused of failing to alert the authorities to the plot to kidnap and kill a soldier.
They deny the charges. Three other men have admitted charges related to the plot.
The trial continues.