Local Time

Friday, September 15, 2006

'You Could Kill All The MPs'

Updated: 15:14, Friday September 15, 2006

Terror suspect Omar Khyam has admitted talking about blowing up the Houses of Parliament.

But he told his trial at the Old Bailey that the comment was made in anger - and was not a serious proposition.

Khyam denies charges that he planned a bombing campaign in Britain, targeting nightclubs, utilities and the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

The 24-year-old said he was watching television in Pakistan in 2003 when he made the comment about Parliament.

He told the the court: "I remember I was watching on a Wednesday, the Prime Minister's questions, and we just made a comment 'Can you imagine if you dropped a bomb right there and then? You would take out all the MPs'."

Asked who had made the comment, Khyam answered: "I did."

Asked what the reaction of the others was, he said: "They just laughed."

The former university student said he was "working for the cause" in Afghanistan, bringing money and equipment from England.

He denied working for al-Qaeda but accepted that people in the area could have had links to the terror group.

The court has previously heard that the September 11 attacks in the US had made him "happy" because he said the US was an enemy of Islam, although he said the scale of the casualties meant he had mixed feelings.

Khyam and six other men were arrested in England in 2004 after more than half a ton of explosive fertiliser was found in a store in west London.

Khyam; his brother Shujah Mahmood, 19; Waheed Mahmood, 34; and Jawad Akbar, 23, all from Crawley, Sussex; Salahuddin Amin, 31, from Luton, Bedfordshire; Anthony Garcia, 24, of Ilford, east London; and Nabeel Hussain, 21, of Horley, Surrey, deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1 2003 and March 31 2004.

Khyam, Garcia and Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism.

Khyam and Shujah Mahmood further deny possessing aluminium powder for terrorism.

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