Pipe bomb and gun were allegedly left by fake courier firm boss ‘Vincent’ to be found in raid set up by MI5.
A jury has heard that an undercover police officer planted evidence in the car of a terrorism suspect, including an apparent pipe bomb and handgun.
This accusation was made when the officer was being cross-examined in the trial of men from the Midlands, accused of plotting terrorist acts between May and July 2016.
Neighbors from Sparkhill in Birmingham Naweed Ali, 29, and Khobaib Hussain, 25 are on trial, along with Mohibur Rahman, 32, the three described themselves as the ‘three musketeers’. Along with Tahir Aziz, 38, they are the men charged with terrorism, they deny the charges.
“Vincent”, the officer, posed as the boss of a fake courier firm called Hero Couriers. It was set up by MI5 and West Midlands police for their joint counter-terrorism operation.
Vincent hired Ali and Hussain as drivers. During Ali’s first day in the job, MI5 officers searched his car and found a bag containing a handgun, a pipe bomb, shotgun shells, a cleaver and other items. The defendants were arrested that day.
Despite evacuating the location, Vincent stayed behind and moved a mat on which the items had been spread into a separate room.
Ali’s defense barrister Stephen Kamlish QC told the officer: “Nobody in their right mind who actually believed this was a real bomb would have moved it … the only reason you did it was because you knew this was not a real bomb.” He accused Vincent of planting the bomb.
Vincent replied by saying that the decision to move the bomb was a “calculated risk” and the device had already been moved when it was taken out of the car.
Vincent gave evidence from behind a curtain shielding him from the public and defendants, he described himself as a “law enforcement officer.”
Ali’s lawyers claim that the evidence was planted in Ali’s car because Hussein’s car was already under surveillance, and any attempt to plant evidence would have been picked up.
Kamlish said that the reason the bag was finally found allegedly on 26 August in somebody else’s car was because Vincent had window of about an hour and a half to plant the evidence before the bug was put in. He was referring to the gap between when Ali left on the delivery job and when MI5 agents arrived at the fake company’s depot.
Vincent refused the accusation saying: “Nothing you’ve just said to me makes any sense whatsoever, so no.”
The case continues.