Indian-born Kafeel alone behind Glasgow bombing: co-accused tells court

November 18th, 2008 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 18 (IANS) The sole survivor of last year’s Glasgow airport bombing attempt claims he had no role in the conspiracy and has blamed it entirely on Indian-born Kafeel Ahmed, who tried to ram their bomb-laden vehicle into the airport gate and later died of burns caused by the explosions. Bilal Abdulla, a doctor from Iraq, was in the passenger seat of the vehicle driven by Ahmed on June 30, 2007, when the bombing was carried out. He has admitted before the Woolwich Crown Court to leaving two bomb-laden vehicles outside a London night club the night before, but claims they were a demonstration against Britain’s policy in Iraq and were not supposed to explode.

Abdulla has also admitted that he is a terrorist who wanted to use violence to change public opinion, but denied having any hand in the airport bombing.

Abdulla, and a third person, Mohammad Asha, also a doctor, are facing trial for the Glasgow conspiracy in which they deny their involvement. Ahmed died of burns a month after the bombing.

He said he and Ahmed had left London for Glasgow to evade arrest and the only understanding he had with Ahmed was that the latter would drive him to the airport for him to catch a plane out of Britain to France and then to Iraq.

After dropping him at the airport, Ahmed was supposed to have lain low for some time at a safe place before escaping to India, Abdulla told the court.

Abdulla admitted he knew their vehicle, a Jeep, was heavily laden with gas canisters and petrol cans but claimed they were just being stored there. He said he saw home made petrol bombs in the front but Ahmed told him they were so that he could defend himself if police tried to arrest him on the way.

When they neared the Glasgow airport, Ahmed drove around the terminal building twice because of heavy traffic, and then tried a taxi lane, Abdulla said.

The car in front of them moved and he thought Ahmed would correct his position and switch to the passenger vehicle lane, Abdulla testified.

“But he drove through the barrier and I got alarmed and I shouted ‘What are you doing, what is happening?’ Then in a matter of no time the car accelerated and turned left into the pole.”

At that point of time, Ahmed, unable to drive right into the airport terminal, handed Abdulla a petrol bomb. “He got one of the bottles, it was lit, and transferred it to my hands. He just put it into my hands.

“The first thought that came across my mind is to get rid of this bottle,” he said, adding he had thrown it across the hood of the vehicle, away from bystanders.

In those seconds, fire engulfed both of them inside the vehicle. He tried to get out, but Ahmed would not unlock the doors, he said. When he eventually got out, Abdulla was surrounded by people who started punching him.

The hearing continues.

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