A Birmingham shopkeeper accused of withholding information about his friend's plans to kidnap and behead a British soldier did not believe he intended to carry out the plot, a court heard yesterday.
Amjad Mahmood told Leicester Crown Court he had not taken seriously a claim by Parviz Khan that he had found "lads" who were ready to snatch the Muslim serviceman off the street at knifepoint.
Mahmood, who denies being part of a Birmingham-based terrorist cell headed by Khan, also said he had "no idea" that the Islamic fanatic was an active terrorist.
A jury trying Mahmood and another defendant has been told that Khan (37), has pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct with the intention of killing a Muslim British soldier.
Mahmood, a 32-year-old father-of-three, told the jurors a transcript of a bugged conversation in which Khan asked him to "get that other job done" was a reference to a broken boiler.
The prosecution alleges that the request, captured by a listening device planted in Khan's home in Foxton Road, Alum Rock, formed part of the plot to kill a soldier. Asked by defence counsel Tim Maloney if he had known or thought that Khan was really going to carry out the plot, Mahmood told the court: "I didn't know and I didn't believe it either."
The bugged conversation, which took place on December 29, 2006, began when Khan asked Mahmood: "Could you get that other job done."
Mahmood, of Jackson Road, Alum Rock, then answered "Which?" and Khan replied: "The one I told you about yesterday."
Asked by Mr Maloney what he was discussing with Mr Khan at that stage, Mah-mood told the jury: "If I had found somebody to fix the boiler."
Mahmood was also asked about transcripts of other bugged conversations in which the older man apparently related how he had almost been killed while helping terrorists on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"To me this is idle chat that I have heard a lot of. I didn't take much notice of it," Mr Mahmood said.
The trial continues.