UK

Terror accused 'praised jihadist battles in Syria and Iraq'

Erol Incedal Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Erol Incedal had no settled plan, the prosecution has said

The trial of a man accused of planning to target Tony Blair or carry out a Mumbai-style terror attack has heard secret recordings of him praising jihadist battles in Syria and Iraq.

Erol Incedal, from London, was recorded saying he hated white people and wanted to do "a drive-by".

The Old Bailey heard lengthy recordings made by police after they bugged his car in September last year.

Mr Incedal, 26, who is being tried partly in secret, denies all charges.

The recordings were played in court, with many difficult to clearly hear.

In one video, Mr Incedal sings about killing Shia Muslims by cutting their throats.

In another, Mr Incedal and two others, who were watching or listening to accounts from fighters in Syria and elsewhere, are heard laughing and commenting on the deaths of enemies of al-Qaeda or Islamic State fighters.

'Jihadi videos'

At one point, Mr Incedal comments to another man, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, about the types of weapons being fired, adding the incomplete phrase "we used that".

The jury were told that one video, called Dola, related to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"I've watched so many different like jihadi people's videos and it doesn't do nothing to me," says Mr Incedal on the tape.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Incedal may have targeted Tony Blair, prosecutors say

"But the Dola ones, it just puts this thing in your head that you just want to do drive-by."

Mr Incedal and his companion are then heard laughing.

"They do it a lot bruv," says Mr Incedal. "And they've got this special like machine uzi gun like and silence on it - it's nuts."

The jury was told on Tuesday that Rarmoul-Bouhadjar had pleaded guilty to possessing bomb-making plans.

Mr Incedal denies the same charge. He also denies preparing for acts of terrorism.

Earlier on Wednesday the court was told that Mr Incedal's home was searched after he was arrested on 13 October last year in central London.

During the search of the property in south-east London, officers found a document referring to a "Plan A" on top of a wardrobe in a bedroom.

'Coded messages'

It listed "three to four workers, two tennis racquets, one month's surveillance, rent nearby flat, transport, assess security, assess risk, legitimacy, action etc", prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said.

Mr Incedal's wife Kadeejah Baluch and four children were at the property, prosecutors said. Three were his own children, aged six, four and 11 months, they added.

The court heard Mrs Baluch confirmed she was married to Mr Incedal, and said: "He normally lives here but not for the last four days."

Police also searched a second property near Paddington, which Mr Incedal failed to disclose, jurors were told.

Image caption Some of the trial will never be made public, the judge has said

Officers found signs a number of people lived there, including three pairs of shoes, three beds, condoms and various DVDs, the court heard.

They also found a laptop in a drawer in the bedroom, which prosecutors say contained coded messages referring to a "Mumbai-style" attack and Kalashnikov rifles.

'Destroy everything'

In the recordings, Mr Incedal is heard arguing and complaining to his wife about how he was stopped and held for a few hours while the police examined his car.

He tells his wife: "I hate white people so much… we might have to destroy everything, and do something else, Plan B.

"These pigs, I just feel like running them over. Talking about the police."

The court was told on Tuesday that prosecutors believe he was planning either an attack similar to the one in 2008 in Mumbai, which left 174 dead, or to target a prominent figure. An address belonging to former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were among items recovered from his car, jurors heard.

The prosecution has said he had no settled plan.

Secret sessions

Jurors were told on Monday that parts of the trial would never become public.

Some sessions, such as one being held on Wednesday afternoon, will only be open to a limited number of journalists. They will not be able to report what is said.

A third part of the trial will see even these accredited journalists excluded from hearing the evidence.

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