Court hears defendants used 'terrorshop user name'

All three men were arrested in Birmingham last September Photo: West Midlands Police

The prosecution is continuing to open its case at Woolwich Crown Court against three men from Birmingham accused of plotting a suicide bombing campaign in the UK.

Irfan Naseer, 31, and Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali who are both 27 deny between them a total of twelve terrorism charges.

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC gave more details this morning about the alleged bogus charity fundraising carried out by the men. He told the jury that in 2010 Ashik Ali had bought 12 charity fundraising boxes, a megaphone, two radio microphones, and two electronic counting machines.

The prosecution claims these were clearly items for use in bogus charity collections. The court was told that Ashik Ali had previously registered the user ID ‘terrorshop’ on eBay using the email address be_terror@yahoo.co.uk. The prosecution claim the names reveal Ashik Ali’s mindset, even if the names were registered half in jest.

Muslim Aid had been granted a licence for street collections for one day on 6th August 2011. The prosecution claims that Naseer, Khalid and several other men were involved in the collection of money over several weeks under the banner of Muslim Aid in and around Stratford, Coventry and Ladypool Roads. Prosecutor Brian Altman QC said they wore green Muslim Aid T-shirts, high visibility tabards and carried Muslim Aid labelled buckets, Muslim Aid leaflets and merchandise to appear to be legitimate charity collectors.

The prosecution outlined several items found by police at 23 White Street, the rented flat of Ashik Ali allegedly used as a safe house by the three men. The items recovered included a Muslim Aid carrier bag, Muslim Aid post-it stickers, pens and promotional items, Muslim Aid collection boxes and money bags. More than £7,000 was found in coins and cash, including a bundle of banknotes hidden in a prayer rug.

The jury was told that £1,585 was also recovered from Irhan Naseer when he was arrested, and that £5,700 was recovered from a money belt at the home of Irfan Khalid. A note was also recovered listing the names of seven men, and amounts of money totalling more than £12,000.

The court was told that only £1,500 was handed over to Muslim Aid, around the average amount normally collected in one day of street collecting during Ramadan. The prosecution claim the rest of the money was stolen for terrorist purposes. However £9,000 was later lost after it was invested in Forex, a commodity trading market.

The trial continues.