Five go on trial over UK terrorist training camps

By Michael Holden, LONDON (Reuters) - Five men charged with terrorist training offences went on trial in London on Wednesday and the high-security court was told a sixth man, their leader, had already admitted soliciting murder.

Atilla Ahmet, 43, the so-called emir of the group, pleaded guilty to three counts of encouraging others to commit murder in a separate hearing last month that media were barred from reporting until the start of Wednesday's trial.

Prosecutor David Farrell told Woolwich Crown Court that Tanzanian-born defendant Mohammed Hamid, along with Ahmet, had recruited, groomed and corrupted young Muslims.

Hamid, 50, is accused of preparing Muslim men for jihad, or holy war, by organizing terrorism training disguised as camping or paintballing trips in rural parts of England.

"His purpose was to convert such men to his own fanatical and extreme beliefs and having given them such a foundation, thereby enabling them to move on to join others in the pursuit of jihad by acts of terrorism," Farrell said.

The court heard that Hamid provided training in weapons and military tactics at camps across England.

Among those to attend were men convicted of attempting to bomb the London transport system on July 21, 2005, two weeks after four Islamist militants killed 52 people in almost identical suicide attacks.

The July 21 plan failed because of mistakes in the construction of the bombs.


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