A suspected terrorist had four British passports in seven years and travelled to places of conflict, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.
Andrew Rowe, a Muslim convert charged with having articles for use in terrorism, had been given a new passport each time he applied, said Mark Ellison, prosecuting.
Rowe, (34), of Maida Vale, west London, was arrested at the Channel Tunnel in France in October 2003 as he was about to return to Britain from Germany.
His luggage included a pair of socks, rolled into a ball, which had traces of three explosives on them indicating, say the prosecution, that it could have been used to clean a mortar launcher barrel.
A search of his wife's home in Ash Grove, Birmingham, allegedly produced a code by which someone could communicate in secret, said Mr Ellison.
It comprised mostly of telephone models being used for words such as police, army base and airport, the jury was told.
A search of a former home in London two months earlier had resulted in the find of a notebook in Rowe's writing on instructions on how to use a mortar bomb, said Mr Ellison.
Rowe denies three charges of having articles for use in terrorism and one of having a record of the code for terrorism.
Mr Ellison said Rowe had visited a number of countries since the 1990s, including Bosnia.
Rowe had gone with his original passport to Bosnia in 1995 where he said he had been injured in a war zone where he had gone as a volunteer.
In January 1996, he was issued with a new, clean passport and left for the Balkans in September that year.
He returned in January 1997 with border stamps for Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia, said Mr Ellison.
In September, 1999, he was issued with another new passport after saying his previous passport had been lost in the back of a mini-cab.
Three months later, he left for Georgia, near the Chechnya conflict.
Over the next few years, he visited Thailand, Malaysia and Morocco, before getting his latest passport at the British Consulate in Amsterdam.
This was issued in August 2003, after police went to his former London address.
Mr Ellison said he presented his existing passport and said it had been damaged in the wash. Some country stamps had been obliterated and visas had come off.
The trial continues.