Mohammed Momin Khawaja

Five life sentences, two acquittals: Peering deeper into the Crevice 7/07 case.

Mohammed Momin Khawaja

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

03 May 2007, 08:47 #1

Khawaja's appeal denied
Wednesday, noon: Supreme court refuses terror suspect's challenge of secrecy provisions


The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a constitutional challenge to the Canada Evidence Act by a man accused of terrorism.

Mohammed Momin Khawaja, facing seven terrorism-related charges under the Anti Terrorism Act, challenged a section of the evidence act which allows the government to present secret evidence to trial judges in ex parte hearings without the accused person being present.

However, Chief Justice Alan Lutfy of the federal court writes in his April 30 decision that while the section does violate the principle of open courts, it still takes into consideration the rights of accused persons and that a number of "procedural safeguards," exist.

One of those safeguards, he writes, is that the Federal Court may where necessary, appoint a scrutiny cleared "amicus curiae," lawyer to to read, hear, challenge and respond to the ex parte representations made on behalf of the government.

However Greenspon, responding to the decision, said he doesn't believe the Canada Evidence Act allows for the appointment of an amicus curiae.

"If you make a secret hearing not secret anymore is it still unconstitutional? Probably not," he said. "That's not the question that was before the court."

Greenspon said he and his client would wait to make a decision on appealing the decision until the release of another Federal Court decision expected later this week concerning disclosure of secret documents pertaining to the case.

Khawaja has been in jail for three years awaiting trial. Greenspon says he doesn't believe his client's criminal trial will begin before September.

Khawaja is accused of assisting a terror cell in the United Kingdom by allegedly designing a remote detonator for a fertilizer bomb and in securing funding for the organization.

This week a jury in London convicted five of the seven men initially accused of participating in the cell on a variety of terrorism-related counts.

A precendent for this was set in the trial of Harry Roberts, where the court appoints a person to see the evidence that cannot be revealed to the defendent.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

03 May 2007, 08:52 #2

What chance a fair trial?
Khawaja alleged to be detonations expert
Evidence cites computer technician caught on British police wiretap


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 1, 2007 at 4:11 AM EDT

OTTAWA — Long before more notorious figures took the term and made it their own, Canadian Mohammad Momin Khawaja was alleged to be a glaring, almost textbook case of a "homegrown" terrorist: For more than three years, he has stood accused of being a member of a circle that avowed a perverted, extremist form of Islam.

The 28-year-old is charged with being the Canadian end of a 2004 al-Qaeda-style conspiracy against civilian targets in London, intended to be payback for Britain's role in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The scheme was to be achieved by blowing up civilians in London shopping centres, or possibly killing immodestly dressed "slags," in the words of one accused, who partied in night clubs. It's alleged Mr. Khawaja was the detonations expert this band of likeminded brothers -"cruel and ruthless misfits who should be removed from society for its own protection," according to the British judge who meted life sentences against most of the British accused yesterday.

The plot was unravelled before it could be put into effect: In Scotland Yard's Operation Crevice and its Canadian offshoot, the RCMP's Project Awaken, police and intelligence agents spent months recording the suspects' every move before swooping down on both sides of the Atlantic to make arrests, just as the alleged plot approached fruition.

In Britain, the details only slowly filtered out during the course of a year-long trial that culminated in yesterday's five convictions and two acquittals.

Most suspects met on the Internet, before face-to-to-face encounters in a Pakistan training camp in the summer of 2003. They reconnected in Britain, the homeland of all suspects except Mr. Khawaja, where their machinations surfaced in thousands of conversations surreptitiously recorded that fall and winter.

In addition to the intercepts, the prosecution has a cherry atop its case -- one of the jihadists, a friend of Mr. Khawaja's, turned informer after being captured in New York days after the others were rounded up.

In coming months, Mohammed Junaid Babar is expected to recap in Ottawa the damning testimony he gave in London last year.

After allegedly training as a terrorist with others in the summer, Mr. Khawaja visited Britain that winter. The first surveillance on him occurred after his arrival on an Air Canada jet that landed in Heathrow. The now-convicted ringleader of the British fertilizer plot is alleged to have picked Mr. Khawaja up in a Suzuki Vitara SUV -- one secretly bugged by police.

"What does this device actually do? " the ringleader, Omar Khyam, asked after the airport pickup, not knowing his words were caught on tape.

According to British evidence cited by the BBC, Mr. Khawaja allegedly responded: "What does it do? Okay, you have two pieces, right, a receiver and transmitter. The receiver will be similar to, let's say, a mobile phone, sort of like this.

"So it can get up to five volts or six volts. And so the receiver, what it does, basically, . . . when you press the button on the transmitter, it receives a signal," the Canadian said. "The output, the voltage . . . if you have a detonator wire hooked up and that, will send a charge down the line to whatever you're sending it to."

From there, it's alleged the men were spotted visiting an Internet café, looking at pictures of the prototype detonator that Mr. Khawaja had crafted in Canada.

He was in London for only three days. What a Canadian court may soon hear - or not, depending on how much international evidence the federal government attempts to shield - is how Scotland Yard and the MI5 worked with the RCMP and CSIS to keep tabs on Mr. Khawaja when he returned to Ottawa later that weekend.

British authorities yesterday lauded Canadian co-operation in the investigation. The specifics are unknown, but certainly, federal counterterrorism officials would have to have worked overtime that weekend in order to get surveillance in place for Mr. Khawja's homecoming to Canada. He was under scrutiny for several weeks before tactical officers raided his home.

�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

04 May 2007, 02:03 #3

Anatomy of a bomb plot

Their journey to the peak of religious extremism began years ago. It ended yesterday when five men were convicted of planning terror attacks in London, writes Sarah Knapton.

Sarah Knapton, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On a humid day in August 2003, a group of British Muslims began the tricky ascent up a mountain in Pakistan.

Struggling up the steep terrain in traditional Islamic dress and sneakers, the party seemed ill-equipped for a hiking expedition.

More than once they got lost and had to camp out in freezing conditions.

But their goal was not to conquer the summit or visit the villages along the way. It was to find an area remote enough to take part in a training camp where they would learn the skills needed for a terror strike on British soil.

They would learn how to fire AK-47 rifles, use a rocket launcher and build a ammonium nitrate bomb in pursuit of their extreme Islamist beliefs.

Among the group were Omar Khyam, Jawad Akbar, Shujah-ud-din Mahmood and Anthony Garcia.

Three years later, they would be among a group of seven in the dock at London's Old Bailey courthouse after their training and fanaticism fermented into a concrete plot to cause a massive explosion and claim hundreds of lives.

During a year-long trial, their lawyers claimed they were simply boys playing soldiers or freedom fighters, taking part in training with no intention of using their knowledge in Britain.

But also present at that camp was a man referred to throughout the hearing as "Ibrahim."

The jury was never told his real name, Mohammed Sidique Khan. On July 7, 2005, Mr. Khan boarded a subway train at Kings Cross and headed west four stops to Edgeware Road. It was there he detonated a suicide bomb.

Seven passengers died on the day of carnage, which was to claim 52 lives in the three other 7/7 suicide attacks.

Sixteen months before the atrocity, MI5 officers intercepted a chilling conversation between Mr. Khyam and Mr. Khan.

The leader of the London bombers said to Mr. Khyam: "You're seriously, basically a terrorist?"

Mr. Khyam replied: "I'm not a terrorist. They're working through us."

"Who are?" Siddique Khan asked. "There's no one higher than you."

Mr. Khyam's journey to the peak of religious extremism had begun many years before, but no one is sure where. It ended yesterday when he and four other men were convicted of plotting terrorist attacks against London and sentenced to life in prison.

Like many of the suspects, he grew up in the affluent suburbia of middle England where his parents insisted he travel to a mixed school so he could integrate with area youngsters.

To the outside world, Mr. Khyam, and other members of the terror cell, were like any of the other young men of Crawley, Slough and Ilford.

Living comfortably in southeast England, they could hardly claim to be motivated by hatred of western decadence. Wearing the latest Nike sneakers and hooded tops rather than traditional Islamic dress, they would eat at McDonald's almost every day and speak in hip-hop slang.

They worked for high-profile companies such as Boots, Tesco, British Gas and British Telecom, and spent more time playing with digital cameras and stereos than they did in their mosque.

Mr. Khyam's family did not uphold strict Islamic beliefs. His mother only wore the hijab on traditional occasions and their family Koran grew dusty through lack of use.

His grandfather had fought in the British army during the Second World War before settling in Britain in the 1970s with Mr. Khyam's father.

Mr. Khyam was a talented sportsman who captained the Sussex under-18 cricket team and was often tipped as a future England player.

But his interest in Islam started to grow in 1998 when he signed up for classes organized by the now-banned group Al Majaroun while taking A-level courses at East Surrey College.

The group showed him propaganda videos of supposed Muslim oppression in Bosnia and Chechnya.

Like many young men from generations before him, Mr. Khyam became entranced by the dark allure and romance of fighting for the rebel cause.

"The main thing was to establish an Islamic state," Mr. Khyam testified. "They believed by peaceful means. They wanted to establish it everywhere -- in the U.K. as well."

The chance for action presented itself during a family trip to the town of Murree in Pakistan in the summer of 1999. It was then that Mr. Khyam came across the Al-Badr Mujahideen, who were calling for recruits to help the jihad in Kashmir.

On Jan. 18, 2000, Mr. Khyam flew to Pakistan from Britain to take part in a Lashkar e Tayyaba training camp, telling his mother he was taking a college trip to France. He was shown how to fire an AK-47, rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles.

Relatives in the Pakistani security services tracked him to the mountains and sent him home, but he never gave up his dream of committing his life to jihad.

By 2001, he was fiercely anti-western and admitted to supporting the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed 2,073 people.

It was the U.S. invasion of Iraq following 9/11 that turned him into a terrorist.

He admitted: "Whereas before myself and others made excuses, now they believe the U.K. and America needed to be attacked."

By 2002, he was back in Pakistan, channelling money and equipment to al-Qaeda No. 3 Abdul Hadi with Salahuddin Amin, another of the men convicted yesterday at the conclusion of the the Old Bailey trial. (Two of the seven defendants were acquitted.)

Mr. Khyam travelled to Afghanistan and met Taliban leaders, whom he described as "amazing people."

But it was a gas fitter from Crawley who sowed the seeds of a terror strike on Britain.

By February 2003, Waheed Mahmood, also found guilty yesterday, was living in Pakistan, helping disaffected British Muslims enter the country to join jihadist groups fighting in Kashmir and Afghanistan. He was becoming increasingly frustrated by their unwillingness to carry out operations on the British mainland.

The oldest of the plotters, and dubbed "The Emir" because of his al-Qaeda connections, Mr. Mahmood's passion would inflame the others and turn their attention toward Britain.

Mr. Khyam and Mr. Garcia, who knew Mr. Mahmood from Crawley, visited his home near Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in the spring of 2003, hoping he could organize terror training and entry into Afghanistan.

Instead, Mr. Mahmood vented his frustration and called for action in Britain.

New Yorker Mohammed Junaid Babar became the first al-Qaeda informer to give evidence in a British court when he gave jurors a chilling insight into the planning of a terrorist atrocity that followed.

Mr. Babar, who was present at the meeting, said Mr. Mahmood could not understand why people wanted to go to Afghanistan when they could be fighting jihad on home soil.

Mr. Mahmood's own plans, though sinister, were more fanciful than practical. He suggested poisoning burger vans and bottles of beer at soccer matches, knowing there were few Muslim supporters in the stands.

He also considered lacing takeout food with toxins and strapping explosives to model aircraft.

In a precursor to the July 7 bombings, the group also suggested using a mentally unstable London Underground worker to detonate a suicide bomb on the subway.

Inspired by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and destroyed a U.S. federal building, it was Mr. Khyam who came up with the idea of using an ammonium nitrate fertilizer bomb to devastate central London.

Mr. Babar said: "Khyam wanted to do multiple bombs, either simultaneously or one after another on the same day. He said we need to hit certain spots like pubs, nightclubs or trains."

The fertilizer bought by the gang weighed just 36 kilograms less than the 630 kilograms used in the 1995 Oklahoma attack.

Once the plot was decided, Mr. Khyam and Mr. Amin quickly made plans to attend a training camp in Malakand, Pakistan, where they learned the precise ingredients and ratios for building a bomb from al-Qaeda experts.

Mr. Khyam now needed accomplices to help carry out the plot and, in April 2003, Mr. Khyam and Mr. Mahmood returned to Britain to raise funds for a training camp to learn the operational skills of terrorism.

Among those present at the training camp in the summer of 2003 were Mr. Khyam, his brother, Shujah Mahmood, Mr. Babar, Mr. Garcia, Jawad Akbar, Siddique Khan and Canadian Momin Khawaja. They came with money and equipment, including digital scales to measure the bomb ingredients.

"They were just basically learning how to shoot, different positions of shooting, how to shoot an AK-47, assembling and disassembling an AK-47, light machine-gun, rocket launcher and we experimented with making a bomb," Mr. Babar told the jury.

Mr. Garcia, Mr. Khyam and another trainee terrorist took part in the bomb test in secret. They recorded the resulting explosion for a propaganda film.

The camp quickly changed the group from "talkers" to "doers."

Mr. Babar said: "Prior to the camp, the guys were joking around and using slang.

"After the camp, the guys were talking jihad, praying and quoting the Koran. They were saying, "let's go kill the Kufr" (kaffir or infidel).

By autumn 2003, the group was primed for a strike.

After a last minute bomb test in Mr. Babar's back garden in Lahore, Mr. Khyam flew home to Britain on Sept. 1 carrying with him aluminum powder, an essential ingredient for the bomb.

A few weeks later, and calling himself John, he phoned agricultural merchants Bodle Brothers in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, and asked about buying ammonium nitrate fertilizer for his allotment garden.

The terrorists were hoping to strike at Christmas when shopping centres and nightclubs would be at their busiest.

Realizing his Asian looks might arouse suspicion if he tried to buy fertilizer out of season, Mr. Khyam sends Mr. Garcia, whom he had met a year earlier, to collect the ammonium nitrate.

The pale-skinned Algerian model was an unlikely addition to the group, but he had become bewitched by the glamour of the jihadi cause.

At Mr. Khyam's terror camp, however, Mr. Garcia realized the life of a frontline freedom fighter was a little too uncomfortable for him and he had returned to Britain to raise funds through his modelling work.

On Nov. 5, 2003, Mr. Garcia -- calling himself Tony -- arrived at Bodle Brothers in a "souped-up" black hatchback and wearing a leather jacket to inquire about buying a 50-kilogram bag of Kemira SingleTop fertilizer.

He soon realized he could get hold of a lot more after spotting the 600-kilogram sacks on display.

Manager John Stone said: "He said he also wanted it for the allotment. I smiled at the comment because that's a hell of a lot of fertilizer.

"I said: 'I hope you're not going round bombing anything.' He just smiled and passed the comment by."

For his role, Mr. Garcia was also convicted yesterday.

They hid the huge bag of fertilizer at Access Storage in Boston Manor, Hanwell, west London, under the name of Jawad Akbar's cousin, Nabeel Hussain, and bided their time.

Meanwhile, prosecutors allege, across the Atlantic in Ottawa, another graduate of the Pakistan terror camp, Momin Khawaja, was busy building a device that could remotely trigger the bombs' detonators from up to two kilometres away.

An e-mail sent from Mr. Khawaja to Mr. Khyam on Nov. 30, 2003, read: "It's not as easy as we thought it would be. We have to design the whole thing ourselves.

"There are two parts to it, one transmitter and another receiver that will be at a distance of about 1 or 2km that will be attached to the wires and send out 5 volts down the line and then we get fireworks.

"We pray to the most high we can do this in December."

Mr. Babar had been left behind in Pakistan with the task of smuggling detonators into Britain. He and Mr. Khyam had discussed hiding the devices in tape recorders, shaving cream and Fed Ex packages of dried fruit.

Mr. Amin got hold of the detonators for Mr. Babar, but the trip never materialized after an al-Qaeda boss known as "Q" was followed by spies when he arrived in Pakistan from Luton. He, too, has now been convicted.

Other complications in building the remote device in Canada meant that by January 2004, the plotters were nowhere near having the bomb ready. And the net was beginning to close.

Mr. Khyam had come to the attention of the authorities after defrauding a number of banks and builders' merchants to raise 13,000 pounds ($30,000 Cdn) for the jihadi cause.

By the beginning of February 2004, the group was under surveillance by MI5 and the plot was beginning to unravel around them.

Secret cameras were placed outside Langley Green mosque in Crawley. The spies also put bugging devices in Mr. Khyam's house, his silver Suzuki Vitara car, Mr. Akbar's home in Uxbridge and Mr. Garcia's Audi A4 car.

At the same time, a chance conversation at the Old Orleans restaurant in Ealing Broadway, west London, led staff at Access Storage to question the huge sack of dangerous chemicals stored by a group of young Muslims.

One of the staff remembered the IRA had used a similar storage unit to hide 10 tonnes of fertilizer in the 1990s.

Emma Wallis contacted police, who switched the bag for an inert substance and placed an undercover police officer on the firm's payroll.

Over the next few weeks, MI5 officers recorded 3,500 hours of audio as the terrorists discussed plans to hit gas and electric supplies, hijack planes and bomb nightclubs.

Mr. Akbar, the fifth man convicted, and Mr. Khyam spoke casually about blowing up "those slags dancing around" at the Ministry of Sound -- a popular London nightclub -- with no concern for the carnage they would cause inside.

In the conversation at his Uxbridge home, Mr. Akbar said: "The best thing you can do is put terror in their hearts. There is no doubt, that is the best thing.

"When they see you, they should be, like, crapping their pants."

On March 19, Waheed Mahmood was also recorded talking about targeting Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and promised he could cause "a little explosion, tomorrow if you want."

Mr. Mahmood was working for the British gas company, Transco, and had stolen sensitive CD-ROMs from National Grid, a British utility, that detailed the layout of hundreds of kilometres of high-pressure gas pipelines in southeast England.

Mr. Babar told how he listed operations that could be carried out against utilities, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Mr. Amin and Mr. Khyam had even discussed getting hold of a radio-isotope bomb from the Russian mafia.

On Feb. 20, Mr. Khawaja flew in from Canada to give an update on the progress of the radio-controlled device that he dubbed the "hi-fi digimonster."

As they drove back from Heathrow airport, Mr. Khawaja was recorded telling Mr. Khyam: "We haven't tested it on distance, but itself I think at least one or two kilometres you should be fine."

By the end of February 2004, an attack was imminent. Mr. Khyam had booked a flight to Pakistan for April 6 and withdrawn more than 10,000 pounds ($22,000 Cdn) from his bank account.

In a meeting on Feb. 21, 2004, the 7/7 suicide bomber, Siddique Khan, told Mr. Khyam: "This one-way ticket bruv, yeah?

"You're going to leave now, you might as well rip the country apart economically as well."

Mr. Khyam said: "The next month they're going to start raiding big time all over the U.K."

He was right. On March 30, 750 officers raided homes across the southeast. Mr. Khyam was arrested on his honeymoon in bed with his new wife, Saira Khan, at the Holiday Inn in Horley, West Sussex.

Mr. Mahmood, Mr. Garcia, and Mr. Khyam's brother, Shujah Mahmood, were picked up on the same day.

The day before, Mr. Khawaja had been arrested by the RCMP in Ottawa and is currently awaiting trial in Canada.

In Pakistan, Mr. Amin fled into the tribal regions after hearing a radio broadcast saying there had been terror raids in Crawley and Luton. He later gave himself up to authorities in Pakistan.

Mr. Babar was picked up by the FBI in New York and after weeks of denials finally confessed to his part in the plot and agreed to give evidence against his former friends.

At Mr. Khyam and Shujah Mahmood's Crawley home, police discovered a 12-page target list of synagogues, which had been put together from various websites as well as a copy of Abu Hamza's book, Khawaarij Jihad, and videos of public executions.

Hidden behind the garden shed, officers found a Sainsbury's Danish Butter Cookies tin containing 10 bags of aluminum powder.

The Transco map disks were discovered at the Brunel University apartment of Nabeel Hussain, where Mr. Akbar had been staying before his arrest.

Army equipment was found at Mr. Garcia's home, including backpacks, rope, rain pants, hiking boots, sleeping bags, combat trousers, water bottles, gas canisters, lighters and tents.

A notebook in the living room included references for books including The Virtue of Jihad, and Declaration of War.

At Mr. Akbar's home, police discovered leaflets produced by high-profile Muslim solicitors Arani & Co, titled What To Do If You Are Arrested and Detained In Custody and What To Do If Contacted By MI5.

Downloaded on to his laptop was a computer file, The Mujahideen Explosive Handbook. It contained the exact recipe to build an ammonium nitrate bomb.

Guns and electrical components were found at the Orleans home of Mr. Khawaja in Canada as well as magazines titled Terrorism and Self Sufficiency and books on Guerrilla Warfare, Defence of The Muslim Lands and The Religion And Doctrine of Jihad.

Hundreds of electronic components were found on shelves and desktops, including what police say were prototypes for a remote detonator.

The group refused to answer questions in an interview, but all produced written statements insisting they knew nothing about the plot.

Mr. Khyam claimed the fertilizer was for "gardening purposes."

Mr. Amin made a detailed confession after being arrested at Heathrow airport, hoping to win favour with the British authorities.

Realizing he had succeeded only in implicating himself and his friends, Mr. Amin then started claiming he had been tortured into a confession while in Pakistan and that his captors had told him he would be freed if he repeated his claims to the British police.

Faced with the overwhelming evidence of an al-Qaeda informer, Mr. Babar, the huge bag of fertilizer and hundreds of hours of surveillance videos, many of the defendants were advised to plead guilty.

Mr. Khyam even fired his original lawyer after disagreements about the case.

For the first two days of his evidence, Mr. Khyam talked candidly about his jihadi beliefs, speaking openly about his love for the Taliban and ambition to fight in Afghanistan.

But he suddenly refused to continue in the witness box, claiming he wanted to protect his family from the Pakistani security services -- the notorious Inter Service Intelligence Agency.

Mr. Garcia admitted in court to buying and storing the fertilizer, but claimed he thought it was to be shipped to Pakistan for use by jihadi fighters in Kashmir.

He said he had been intimidated by Mr. Khyam, referring to him to as "twisted psycho."

Nabeel Hussain said he had agreed to lend Mr. Khyam his credit card to pay for the unit at Access Storage, but thought he was just storing sand. He was also acquitted yesterday.

Shujah Mahmood said he was kept out of the loop by his big brother, Mr. Khyam, and knew nothing of the plot. He was acquitted by the jury. Waheed Mahmood refused to give evidence, claiming Allah had advised him not to leave the dock.

Mr. Akbar admitted he would have relished the opportunity to take part in a terror strike in Britain, but said no conspiracy was planned at the time of his arrest. His defence lawyer, James Wood, said he could not be convicted for merely having "wicked thoughts."

Despite their deadly intentions, parts of the operation had been mercifully amateurish, often ending in farce.

On one occasion, they raised hundreds of dollars for the terrorist cause and sent it to Pakistan, where it was embezzled by a relative who received it by mistake.

At the Malakand training camp, Mr. Akbar was nicknamed "Abu Finish-up" after he spent much of his time on the toilet with a severe attack of diarrhea.

But the group was associating with fundamentalists who, 15 months later, would act out their "wicked thoughts" in the 7/7 bombings.

The fertilizer bomb plotters were within days of launching an attack far more deadly than 7/7 and could have used relatives to flee to Pakistan and disappear without trace.

- - -


1998: Omar Khyam first becomes interested in radical Islam.

Summer 1999: Khyam and Salahuddin Amin approach Mujihadeen recruiters in Pakistan.

Jan. 18, 2000: Khyam flies to Pakistan for military training.

Spring/Summer 2001: Amin first meets Khyam and Waheed Mahmood at a Luton mosque.

Summer 2001: Amin goes to Pakistan to begin explosives training.

June 28, 2001: Khyam visits the Taliban in Afghanistan, describing them as 'amazing people.'

July 2001: Amin meets one-handed preacher Abu Hamza at

Finsbury Park mosque.

November 2001: Mohammed

Junaid Babar flies to Britain en route to Pakistan to meet Khyam.

Nov. 1, 2001: Babar gives TV interview in Pakistan vowing to kill every American soldier he sees.

December 2001: Babar makes contact with Waheed Mahmood.

2002: Babar admits being involved in a plot to kill Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Autumn 2002: Khyam is introduced to Anthony Garcia.

November/December 2002: Babar flies to Britain and meets Khyam and Garcia.

Feb. 10, 2003: Khyam and Garcia go to Pakistan to "help the jihad."

February/March 2003: Bomb plot begins when Babar meets Waheed Mahmood in Pakistan. Among those present are Garcia and Khyam. Mahmood talks of hitting utilities in Britain or poisoning beer in soccer stadiums.

June 2003: Khyam and Amin attend training camp in Pakistan where they learn to make explosives with ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum.

July 16, 2003: Khawaja arrives in Pakistan. Leaves on July 28.

July 19, 2003: Group travels to Malakand to start training camp. Present are Khyam, Garcia, Babar, Shujah, and others. Later, they are joined by Akbar and others. Khawaja is also present.

August 2003: Babar e-mails Khawaja asking for funding on behalf of "Top Dawg John Lewis," Anthony Garcia. Khyam tests to see if aluminum powder can be brought through British customs.

Aug. 31/Sept. 1, 2003: Khyam returns to Britain carrying 10 bags of aluminum powder and tests a small device with Babar.

Oct. 19, 2003: Khawaja e-mails Khyam to say he is working on "the devices."

October 2003: Bodle Brothers in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, first contacted about fertilizer order.

Nov. 5-6, 2003: Garcia buys 650 kilograms of fertilizer.

Nov. 30, 2003: Khawaja e-mails Khyam about creating "fireworks" with the device.

December 2003: Amin in discussions about buying a radio isotope bomb from the Russian mafia.

Dec. 24, 2003: Khyam receives e-mail from Khawaja saying "we finished designing the baby."

January 2004: Police surveillance begins.

Jan. 19, 2004: Khawaja e-mails Khyam to say "device is not working properly."

Jan. 25, 2004: Khawaja e-mails Khyam to say "praise the most high, we got the devices working."

Feb. 10, 2004: Khawaja e-mails Khyam asking if he should mail the remote controlled device from Canada to Britain.

Feb. 11, 2004: Khyam contacts Khawaja from Internet cafes in Slough and Crawley to discuss "Hi-Fi Digimonster."

Feb. 16, 2004: Bugs in Khyam's car reveal conversations about "giving up your life for Allah."

Feb. 19, 2004: Khyam e-mails Khawaja telling him to leave the devices in Canada on his trip to Britain.

Feb. 20, 2004: Khyam and Shujah Mahmood pick Khawaja up from Heathrow Airport and they discuss detonators. Storage firm staff becomes suspicious of fertilizer and phones the police.

Feb. 21, 2004: Siddique Khan discusses plans with Khyam about flying to Pakistan. Detectives take samples from the fertilizer bag.

Feb. 22, 2004: Khawaja returns to Canada. Khyam and Akbar recorded discussed blowing up utilities, Amec, and the Ministry of Sound nightclub. Akbar said they should put terror in the hearts of the "Kuffir."

Feb. 25, 2004: Fertilizer seized by police officers and exchanged for harmless substance.

March 19, 2004: Waheed Mahmood talks about "a little explosion at Bluewater."

March 29, 2004: Khawaja arrested in Ottawa.

March 30, 2004: Khyam, Shujah Mahmood, Akbar, Hussein, Waheed Mahmood arrested.

April 3, 2004: Amin turns himself in to Pakistani authorities.

March 21, 2006: Trial begins at the Old Bailey.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 22:57

13 May 2007, 00:11 #4

Suspect's bid to see secret evidence stalls
Judge rules RCMP may have to reveal only part of censored information to Khawaja's defence team


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 8, 2007 at 4:19 AM EDT

One week after five of his alleged co-conspirators were handed life sentences in Britain, Canada's first criminally accused al-Qaeda suspect has received a verdict in one of his legal challenges - winning a bit more access to secret files flowing from the sprawling international investigation surrounding him.

Mohammad Momin Khawaja of Ottawa continues to face allegations he conspired to help a London terror cell build a deadly fertilizer bomb. Arrested at the same time as the British accused in 2004, he has raised a series of issues that have served to delay his trial in Canada.

It's unclear what new information will be disclosed as a result of a Federal Court decision released yesterday. But it's likely the RCMP will have to cough up some information it had been fighting to conceal on the grounds that it needs to protect intelligence received from partners such as CSIS, MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI. Whatever new nuggets might be disclosed, they will be added to reams of intercepts, documents and informant testimony already provided to Mr. Khawaja's defence.

"All we're looking for is one unsmoking gun," defence lawyer Lawrence Greenspon said yesterday, after the decision in his third pretrial challenge. While he doesn't yet know what secrets might be revealed, he said whatever the information is, it could prove useful. "The fact is, one document can make a difference."

As the British convicts now mull life in prison, Canadian lawyers continue to clash over whether Mr. Khawaja, 28, is about to get a fair trial. Judges are wrestling with the implications of the case, the first test of 2001's Anti-Terrorism Act.

The 75-page decision by Mr. Justice Richard Mosley provides a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes information-swapping that Western security agencies used
to thwart the British fertilizer-bomb conspiracy. The British first spotted Mr. Khawaja as he made a three-day trip to meet suspects in London, weeks before hundreds of police launched raids in Canada and Britain.

Seeking to protect the RCMP's intelligence pipeline, a senior Mountie pleaded for Judge Mosley to shield foreign sources by arguing that the agency receives roughly 75 pieces of foreign intelligence for every nugget it generates itself. For that reason, he said, good relations with foreign partners is paramount for national security.

But as Judge Mosley delved into minutiae of the yet-to-be-disclosed evidence, he found that some security privileges were wrongly invoked. "In some instances, the rule had been utilized beyond its proper scope by the redaction of any reference to a foreign agency even when it was apparent from the context which agency and country was involved and where there was no exchange of information which needed to be protected," he wrote.

And it wasn't just foreign information that was wrongfully censored - "those holding the black pens seem to have assumed that each reference to CSIS must be redacted."

At issue is a drop in the bucket in the overall disclosure. Judge Mosley points out the lawyers were haggling over partially censored documents in 23 binders, which amount to less than 2 per cent of nearly 100,000 pages of documents disclosed to the defence.

The judge noted the British have freely offered up 226 CDs of intercepted conversations, 13 VHS surveillance tapes, as well as a host of other evidence. The Americans have further provided an informant they have in custody - a jihadist-turned-police-witness caught in New York who is expected to repeat the damning testimony he gave in the Old Bailey last year.

More sensitive are British and U.S. materials sent to the RCMP under explicit agreements that they not be passed along, as the information points to ongoing investigations, live suspects and unidentified informants.

Judge Mosley found the law precludes divulging such information, such as a British intelligence report that has never been released. But the Federal Court worked to facilitate some additional disclosure. The U.S. informant's plea-bargain deal, which has not been presented in any court so far, will be revealed in the Canadian case.

Much of the censored material was deemed to be of little value, the "flotsam and jetsam that collects in police files," as the judge put it. He plans to issue a comprehensive list of shielded documents indicating which security claims he supports and which he doesn't.

That list, once compiled, will probably result in more legal haggling.

In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984

Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 22:57

21 May 2007, 12:33 #5

Sat, May 19, 2007

Khawaja team gets 67 secret docs

The first man ever charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act will get a fraction of the 531 secret documents he asked the federal government to disclose, but Mohammed Momin Khawaja's lawyer says even one document might be enough to win his client's freedom.

"All we need is one un-smoking gun," said Lawrence Greenspon yesterday of what he hopes to find in the 67 documents that Federal Court Justice Richard Mosely ordered disclosed yesterday.


Although he said his client may still appeal to the Federal Court for more disclosure he said the exercise that yielded this further disclosure of previously withheld information may still prove worthwhile.

"Some of the greatest travesties of justice could have been prevented by the disclosure of one document," Greenspon said.
Mosely has released to Greenspon and federal prosecutors a list of documents that will be disclosed and a summary of those he has ruled pose too much of a threat to national security or Canada's international relations to be released.

A less detailed public version of the order has been posted on the Federal Court's website. The disclosure order and summaries of withheld documents are a follow-up to Mosely's 74-page decision released May 7, in which he ruled the public interest in the disclosure of some of the documents outweighed the public's interest in their non-disclosure for security reasons.

Khawaja has been in jail more than three years awaiting trial on seven terrorism charges. He is alleged by police to have helped a U.K. terror cell by designing a remote detonator for a fertilizer bomb and helping to secure financing for the terror group.

His trial was to start this spring, but it was delayed because of the legal fight over disclosure.

Greenspon said he'll have 10 days from the delivery of the documents to decide whether to appeal Mosely's decision.

Greenspon has been critical of the way disclosure requests are handled when national security issues are at play, saying the secret hearings at Federal Court -- held without the accused or anyone representing the accused's interests -- run counter to our adversarial court system.

His client is considering an appeal of a related Federal Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the process.

Greenspon said he can't say how useful the new disclosure will be until he receives the material.

"It's good, it's just a question of how good," he said.

source:Ottawa Sun
In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep the people frightened." -- George Orwell, 1984

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

04 Sep 2007, 18:46 #6

Informant reveals key terror role

By Steve Swann
BBC Home Affairs

Mubin Shaikh: penetrated an alleged jihadi network

A self-confessed Muslim fundamentalist has told the BBC about his police informant role in helping to stop an alleged terrorist attack.

Canadian Mubin Shaikh befriended men who were allegedly plotting truck bombs in the downtown area of Toronto.

It is also claimed they discussed storming the parliament in revenge for Canada's military role in Afghanistan.

Mr Shaikh's work was a breakthrough for western security services attempting to penetrate terrorist networks.

Mr Shaikh told BBC Two's Newsnight programme that he first approached the Canadian Intelligence Service (CSIS) when a childhood friend was arrested in relation to a major British plot.

Momin Khawaja, also Canadian, is now awaiting trial for allegedly offering to supply detonators to a British conspiracy to build a massive fertiliser bomb. Five men were jailed in relation to that plot earlier this yea

Chatrooms penetrated

In his interview, Mr Shaikh tells the BBC how CSIS was interested in "the standing I had in the community and the connections I had" and asked him if he would work with them.

Training: Mr Shaikh's fighting skills interested the men

He agreed and was tasked with befriending a group that spies had been monitoring in extremist internet chatrooms.

In one chatroom, a London-based extremist calling himself Abu Dujanah tells one of the Toronto group that al-Qaeda is a "transnational university that specialises in the science of jihad and the production of mujahideen."

Abu Dujanah was a name used by Tariq Al Daour, a UK resident.

He was recently convicted in an unrelated British counter-terrorism case of incitement to murder over the internet.

Mr Shaikh was an army cadet as a teenager and soon joined the men he was targeting in a 10-day training camp in woodland north of the city.

Mr Shaikh says he taught the men mock combat exercises and target practice.

He denies that he egged them on and told the BBC the men spelled out their audacious plans in conversations in a car which had been bugged by CSIS.

Major trial

When some of the group allegedly tried to buy three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, police moved to arrest 17 men and youths.

Momin Khawaja: Knew Shaikh - and named in British plot

Though charges have been stayed against three of them, the trial will be the biggest terrorism case in Canadian legal history. Central to the Crown's case will be the credibility of Mr Shaikh and another informant used in the case.

But Mr Shaikh, who has an outstanding assault charge against him which he denies, has also been criticised by some within the Muslim community for receiving $300,000 (£150,000) for his work.

Muhammad Robert Heft, who runs P4E, a Toronto charity for Muslim converts, said: "I personally believe that Mubin Sheikh had good intentions and I personally believe he was trying to keep Canada safe.

"Had he really thought about it, and realised that the Muslim community is so sceptical of the intentions of people out there, he would have reconsidered and not taken the money in order to keep the Muslim community on his side."

Mike McDonnell of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Mike McDonnell: Deployed organised crime tactics

But Mr Shaikh told the BBC he could have earned a great deal more and didn't do it for the money.

The Canadian police have defended their use of informants in cases such as this.

Mike McDonell, Assistant Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said: "If you are introducing someone into a select group of individuals within a small community it is challenging.

"It doesn't matter if we get into organised crime and motorcycle gangs - they have certain tests that they try and get the individuals to perform to ensure they are not police officers or agents.

"The only difference is that you take power and greed out, replace it with ideology and you take the commodity out of say - clandestine drug labs - and replace it with bomb making labs and it's just like old times with organised crime."

Mubin Shaikh meanwhile has no doubts he did the right thing: "I was born and raised in Toronto," he said. "How could I let anything happen here?"

Watch Mubin Shaikh's interview in full on Newsnight, BBC Two from 2230 BST.
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

27 Oct 2007, 20:36 #7

Khawaja at risk of being wrongly convicted: lawyer
Greenspon fights for access to secret files on terror suspect

Ian MacLeod
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Momin Khawaja could be wrongfully imprisoned for life if the government insists on withholding classified information it admits is relevant to his defence against terrorism charges, his lawyer argued before the Federal Court of Appeal.

"Some of the greatest travesties of justice in this country and in the United States have occurred with the withholding of a single document," Lawrence Greenspon told the panel of three appellate judges.

The court concluded two days of hearings yesterday in which Mr. Khawaja's legal team argued two recent Federal Court of Canada rulings in the case were based on errors in law and should be overturned.

One appeal demands his lawyers be given all government documents relevant to his defence against seven criminal charges of plotting with a British terror cell directed by al-Qaeda to bomb London in 2004. The second asks the court to stop the practice of closed hearings between Federal Court judges and government lawyers to determine what classified government evidence should be withheld from a defendant.

The Khawaja appeals, plus a third by the federal government, are the latest in a complex and interminable legal process that has caused a 10-month delay -- and counting -- in the start of Canada's first prosecution under the 2001 Anti-terrorism Act.

Five Britons were convicted of the London plot by a British court in May and sentenced to life imprisonment. The 28-year-old Mr. Khawaja, to stand trial in Ottawa, denies any involvement.

The appellate panel has reserved judgment.

In March, the federal government applied to the Federal Court to invoke Section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act to allow it to keep secret more than 500 government documents about the case.

Though a Crown prosecutor acknowledged the information would be relevant to Mr. Khawaja's defence, Justice Department lawyers told the court disclosure would harm national security and damage relations with foreign governments.

Mr. Khawaja challenged the government's move. A central question was whether the public interest in government secrecy outweighed Canada's open-court principle and an accused person's right to a fair trial, including the ability to challenge all the evidence against them.

Judge Richard Mosley, in an attempt to balance those competing interests, ruled that more than 400 of the documents should be released to Mr. Khawaja only in summary form. He also granted Mr. Khawaja full or partial access to 73 other documents. (Almost 100,000 pages of other prosecution documents had already been disclosed to the defence.)

But both sides in the case want the appellate court to overturn the decision.

"Mr. Khawaja's rights are being infringed in the name of national security," Mr. Greenspon told the court in his latest bid to have all the disputed documents released.

Federal lawyer Linda Wall, meanwhile, asked the court to rescind Judge Mosley's order that some of the information be released to Mr. Khawaja in summarized form. Public interest in disclosure of the summarized information does not outweigh the importance of the public interest in non-disclosure; and, having found that most of the information was sensitive enough to justify shielding it in summary form, Judge Mosley should have agreed to the complete non-disclosure of the information. (The government is not appealing the release of the 73 other documents.)

Mr. Khawaja's second appeal is over the practice of government officials meeting in closed hearings before a federal judge to present their arguments for keeping documents secret under Section 38 of the evidence act.

Because defence lawyers are not entitled to attend, Mr. Khawaja's lawyers have argued the ex-parte hearings are fundamentally unfair and violate their client's Charter right to a fair trial and to make a full answer to the charges against him.

They lost that argument in April, when Federal Court Chief Justice Allan Lutfy ruled against them.

In appealing that decision this week, Mr. Greenspon suggested the appellate judges consider the creation of a "special counsel" or "special advocate" -- a security-cleared lawyer -- to act on behalf of defendants in Section 38 hearings. The independent advocate would have access to the disputed government information, be allowed to cross-examine government witnesses at ex-parte hearings, and communicate with and question the defendant.

(Ironically, the appellate judges yesterday held an ex-parte hearing with federal justice officials to determine which of the disputed government documents should, or should not, be given to Mr. Khawaja.)

Special advocates gained attention in February when the Supreme Court of Canada, in striking down as unconstitutional the security certificate system under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, voiced support for the concept in security certificate cases.

The court found the current system used to deport non-Canadians suspected as security risks violates Charter guarantees to legal rights because individuals and their lawyers are not allowed access to the government information used against them. Special advocates, it suggested, would do more to safeguard the rights of individuals.

A new study by Craig Forcese, an expert in national security law at the University of Ottawa, and Lorne Waldman, former lawyer for Maher Arar, concludes special advocates be used for Section 38 hearings as well.

"A properly structured special advocates system would not ensure a truly fair hearing, but it would at least partially even the playing field between government and individual," Mr. Forcese said yesterday.

"Essential to such a system, however, is sufficient continued contact between special advocate and the individual, full access by the advocate to all government information and the resources to do the job properly. If any of these ingredients are missing, the special advocate is merely a gloss on an unfair system."
© The Ottawa Citizen 2007

The Ottawa Citizen
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro