<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hindu schoolboy turned terrorist planned to kill thousands
A middle class British Muslim plotted the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people in a series of horrific attacks that would create a 'black day for the enemies of Islam', a court heard.
Al Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot - who was raised a Hindu but converted aged 20 - planned a series of atrocities to 'commit mass murder' in Britain and the USA using radioactive bombs and a petrol tanker.
The 34-year-old banker's son also drew up breathtaking plans to drive explosives-packed limousines into underground car parks and blow up a series of five star hotels in London's West End, including The Ritz.
Other appalling ideas included blowing up the Heathrow Express rail shuttle and a devastating plan to Tube train travelling through a River Thames tunnel.
"Imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here and actually rupture the river itself," he wrote in one chilling note.
"This would cause pandemonium, what with the explosions, flooding, drowning, etc that would occur."
The court heard a series of meticulously compiled dossiers revealed plots to launch simultaneous attacks on 'iconic' financial targets in the USA such as the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Barot is the most senior Al Qaeda terrorist ever to be convicted by a British court.
Opening a two day sentencing hearing at Woolwich Crown Court, Edmund Lawson, QC, told how an unremarkable young men from a North West London suburb left Britain to attend terror training camps in Kashmir and became a 'member or close associate of the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation.'
This, he said, led to a conspiracy to set off 'lethal explosions' in Britain and the US.
"The principal object was to kill hundreds if not thousands of people without warning," he said, adding that Barot wanted to emulate the Madrid train bombings of 2004 which killed almost 200 people.
Barot, who faces life in jail when sentenced today and who has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder, sat quietly in the dock, leafing through the 130 page document detailing his murderous bomb blitz.
FBI sources have previously claimed the former airline ticket clerk has met Al Qaeda's September 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Hambali, the Bali bomber.
Between 2000 and 2004, Barot kept Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan fully briefed of his plans.
His last 'presentation' to them is thought to have been in February 2004.
But the maniac was stopped thanks to 'outstanding detective work' from Scotland Yard whose officers arrested him in August 2004 following the discovery of a computer in Pakistan.
Flanked by two security guards and wearing jeans, brown leather deck shoes and a zip up cardigan, he looked expressionless as chilling reconnaissance video footage he filmed of his New York targets was screened.
It included Barot mimicking the sound of an explosion as he zooms in on the World Trade Centre - just five months before the September 11 attacks.
EARLY YEARS AND EMPLOYMENT
Barot was born in India in December 1971. His parents emigrated to Britain in 1972 and he was raised a Hindu in North West London.
He attended Kingsbury Grammar School where he took a number of GCSEs and after leaving school, he obtained a City and Guilds certificate in tourism.
The court heard how Barot worked as airline ticket clerk for Air Malta in Piccadilly, central London, between 1991 and 1995.
An application to transfer to Heathrow was turned down and he quit - telling colleagues that he planned to take a 'long overseas trip'.
Mr Lawson said: "That much was true. He went for a long training session at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan."
Police found records of one other job: a night porter responsible for security at a luxury apartment block in London in 2002.
Barot has never claimed benefits but, significantly say the Crown, has received financial 'support' from 'someone or some organisation'.
Detectives discovered that regular payments of Â£1,000 have been made into an Abbey National account. Barot has no previous criminal convictions.
CONVERSION TO ISLAM AND TERRORIST TRAINING
In December 1991, aged 20, Barot converted to Islam.
Mr Lawson said: "It was at some time after that he seemed to be pursuing the way of terrorism."
By 1992, he was devout, attending meetings and reading scriptures to help him lead a better life.
But the court heard: "As time went by he became involved in attending meetings which were described as semi extreme and more radical.
"He heard, for the first time, of the Mujahideen, Jihad, and references to the Kuffar (disbelievers)".
In 1995, Barot flew to Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir where he attended a terrorist training camp.
It was, said the Crown, 'intensive training in various aspects of terrorism' for at least five months.
Police recovered copious notes made by Barot - hidden in a garage in North West London in 2004.
The jottings contained detailed information about machine guns, grenades and poisons. By the time Barot had finished his time in Pakistan, he possessed a vast array of military skills.
Much of his time there was chronicled in a book 'The Army of Madinah in Kashmir' - published in Britain in 1999 - and penned under the alias 'Esa Al-Hindi'.
Analysis of Barot's notebooks revealed a terrifying list of ways in which to inflict mass murder.
It was, said Mr Lawson, a 'catalogue of weaponry' and even contained recipes to inflict 'germ warfare' on the West.
He was told how to use Kalashnikov rifles, AK47 assault weapons, and was even given advice on 'how to bow up a bridge'.
There were 'standard notes on various types of grenades'. A chapter headed 'The Specialist' told the reader how to run a fully functioning chemical laboratory.
Chemicals, such as sulphuric acid were identified, as were methods for making explosives and poisons.
Police found 'simple bomb diagrams', recipes for nitroglycerine, and the 'means to produce a variety of explosive devices'.
There were descriptions of fuses, pyrotechnic devices and helpful hints on how to make Molotov Cocktails, Napalm bombs and the 'basic design of a phosphorous bomb'.
The poisons section was particularly horrific, It contained details of cyanide gas, a substance known as 'touching poison' and castor beans - better known as the lethal chemical, ricin.
Experts from the government science research lab at Porton Down in Wiltshire revealed that four of the recipes were 'designed to produce poisonous materials derived from harmful bacteria'.
These, said Mr Lawson, 'included a recipe to produce botulinum toxin, the most toxic substance known to man'.
HIS NEW TERRORIST LIFE
Armed with the expertise gained in the Kashmiri mountains, Barot now crissed-crossed the world. Between 1998 and 2000 he visited Pakistan, Malaysia and the Philippines.
But his extraordinary new life as an Islamic terrorist was aided, say the Crown, by his uncanny knack of 'losing' his British passport. The court heard how on least three occasions, he reported the loss of the travel document.
Meanwhile, he was also successfully obtaining false passports in other people's names as well as visas to visit Pakistan.
Barot used similar tactics to get hold of library reading cards in London - to allow him to covertly study the textbooks of his choice at Brunel University in West London. Police also found a false NUS card.
The motive for the 'serial loss' of passports, said Mr Lawson, was for Barot to 'cover his tracks'.
His 'terrorist tradecraft' also included use of anti surveillance techniques. Barot, who was 'surveillance conscious', would instruct drivers to continuously drive around roundabouts to shake off suspected tails.
Rarely spending more than one night in a flat, he spoke in code over the phone and never rang any alleged co-consprirator on a mobile. Public kiosks were used.
Likewise, Barot avoided home computers, preferring the anonymity of Internet cafes. On one occasion, two of alleged conspirators, even made a 400 mile round trip to Swansea to send an e-mail. E-mails were encrypted and detectives have still to crack some of the codes.
Members of the alleged gang used the names 'Bridget Jones Diaries, and 'Night with Kylie' as e-mail addresses and regularly discussed pop music and sex as a cover.
THE AMERICAN PLOT
Barot planned to blow up some of America's 'iconic' financial institutions. He arrived in New York in 2000, telling immigration officials he was a 'tourist'.
Indeed, he even took helicopter flights around Manhattan. But his real motive was to blow up targets including the New York Stock Exchange, the Prudential Building in New Jersey, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund and World Bank and the Citigroup tower in New York.
These bombings were planned for 2000 and 2001 but were 'shelved' after the September 11 attacks in 2001 on New York and Washington. But they were 'not forgotten'.
The court heard how the plans were still being worked on in February 2004 - six months before Barot's arrest.
Mr Lawson outlined the planned outrage: "Various possible methods of attack were raised for consideration, including parking limousines packed with explosives next to buildings or driving them into underground car parks.
"Arson, by means of hijacked petrol tankers or igniting gas cylinders was also discussed, as was attack by the use of an aeroplane. The plans involved the giving of no warnings and were designed to kill as many as possible."
The court was shown handheld video footage of some of the targets.
Filmed in April 2001 in New York, it was recovered from a video cassette of the Bruce Willis thriller Die Hard With A Vengeance, a copy of which was found in an address linked to Barot.
During 120 minutes of reconnaissance footage, Barot zooms in on financial targets and Jewish addresses, including synagogues.
At one stage, when the camera films the soon to be attacked World Trade Centre - Barot turns the camera on its side and a voice can be heard imitating an explosion by saying: 'Wee, Bang!'.
However there is no evidence that Barot knew of the subsequent attacks although the footage was shot just five months before September 11.
Outlining the Prudential plan, Mr Lawson said the idea would be to place a 'limousine in a VIP underground car park with all, except the front seats removed in order to facilitate maximum space'.
THE 'GAS LIMOS' PROJECT AND OTHER UK PLOTS
The Gas Limos project, said Mr Lawson, 'might be seen as the culmination of Barot's murderous plans' and was only uncovered when a computer was discovered in Pakistan in July 2004.
Had it succeeded it would have been the most devastating peace-time assault on these shores.
The 'GLP' as it was dubbed, was to be 'series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks to be launched in this country' and was drawn up before and after the train bombings in Madrid in March 2004.
This was described by Barot as a 'respectable project' which has 'encouraged us' and early in 2004 he flew to Pakistan to make a 'presentation' of the project.
The plans were now fully costed and Mr Lawson added: "It is one of most chilling aspects of the plan is that they were drawn up as business plans".
Hotels and railways were to be hit in a devastating wave of attacks. One idea was pack three limousines with gas cylinders and detonate the devices in underground car parks.
The hotel chains named in court were the Marriott and the Hyatt Carlton. Other luxury targets named were the Dorchester, the Berkeley, the Lanesborough, the Intercontinental and the Savoy.
Major rail terminals to be hit were Paddington, King's Cross and Waterloo.
In what was described as a 'collateral' project, a 'radiation dispersal' device' - better known as a 'dirty bomb' was to be let off. Other ideas included using a petrol tanker to 'attack the rail or underground network'.
Targets included the Heathrow Express rail shuttle service and blowing up a tube train while crossing the River Thames by tunnel.
Painting a truly horrific picture of the inevitable carnage, Barot wrote: "Imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here and actually rupture the river itself.
"This would cause pandemonium, what with the explosions, flooding, drowning, etc that would occur, result."
The dirty bomb plan was described in fuller detail in a computer folder known as 'Brad Pit' inside a subsection headed 'Radioactive children'.
This said: "An RDD attack can produce general panic, health consequences, including immediate fatalities and long term incidences in cancer incidence, long term denial of property use, disruption of services and property and facility decontamination needs."
In Barot's words, the GLP was all about 'creating another black day for the enemies of Islam and a victory for the Muslims' and his plans had 'not left any stone unturned'.
In a report to Al Qaeda chiefs, he wrote: "I have spent countless weeks, days, hours and months pouring over literature, material as well as exploration in order to furnish this report/presentation to the highest possible standard."
Look at the mischief-making caption - '<i>Hindu</i> schoolboy turned terrorist.....' The heading conveys the impression that it is a hindu who plotted to launch terrorist attacks, and unless one reads the entire article, it isn't apparent at first glance that it is not a hindu, but a <i>muslim</i>, converted as he may be.
Another news caption in the same paper reads <i>''Profile: Terror plotter was Hindu who converted to Islam</i>.''
There are numerous westerners, who converted to islam, and are part of the al-Qaeda network. Some of them have been caught and are serving time. I didn't see the captions during their arrests reading as "<i>christians</i> planned to blow up...." or "<i>christians</i> arrested for terrorist attacks..."
So, why bring in the Hindu aspect to focus in this particular case ?
Hindus living in the UK should protest and write letters to this paper, pointing out the deliberate attempt by the newspaper to mislead the public and defame hinduism.