British al Qaida terrorist Dhiren Barot planned to cause death and destruction on a "massive scale" on both sides of the Atlantic, a court heard yesterday.
The Muslim convert's plans included an audacious plot to flood the Tube network by detonating a bomb under the River Thames.
In his own words, Barot, (34), from north-west London, plotted to mastermind a "black day for the enemies of Islam and a victory for the Muslims", Woolwich Crown Court was told.
Opening the sentencing against Barot yesterday, Edmund Lawson QC, for the Crown, said: "The plan was to carry out massive explosions here and in the USA. The principal object being to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people without warning."
Barot, who admitted conspiracy to murder last month, was "the organiser of major terrorist activity designed to strike at the very heart of both America and the UK," Mr Lawson said.
In the US, he plotted to destroy several key financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, by detonating explosives-packed limousines in their underground car parks or hijacking petrol tankers and setting them ablaze. He also considered the use of aeroplanes.
The court heard that in Britain, Barot planned to kill thousands in September 11-style synchronised attacks, which could have included the use of a dirty bomb, a gas attack on the Heathrow Express and using stretch limousines in a bombing campaign.
Potential targets for terrorist activity included some of London's leading hotels, such as the Savoy, and the city's busiest mainline stations; Waterloo, Paddington and King's Cross.
One of his evil plots was to blow up a Tube train as it passed underneath the River Thames, drowning potentially hundreds of commuters and flooding the network.
The wealth of evidence against Barot included video footage of a terrorist reconnaissance mission he made to New York just a few months before the World Trade Centre atrocity.
The startling video footage was ironically tacked onto the same VHS tape as the Bruce Willis blockbuster Die Hard With A Vengeance, which is about a series of bombings in New York. Astonishingly, it included a man's voice imitating the sound of an explosion as the camera lingered on the Twin Towers.
Prosecutors said the footage demonstrated an "unhealthy and violent interest in attacks on iconic buildings" and said it was notable for its "macabre prophecy".
Barot travelled overseas extensively to countries such as Pakistan and the Philippines, where the Crown said he took part in terrorist training programmes.
Police later recovered his detailed notebooks, which contained recipes for explosives and poisons, including the most deadly toxin known to man, as well as a section on "how to blow up a bridge" and diagrams of Molotov cocktails.
Barot is expected to be sentenced today.