York & North Yorkshire

'Insurance row' behind Knaresborough 'bomb hoax'

A man claimed employees at a pizza shop were planning an Islamist bomb attack after the owner refused to help with an insurance scam, a court has heard.

Shamsul Islam, 23, is said to have made three hoax calls stating staff at Paragon Pizza, in Knaresborough, had received bomb parts through the post.

York Crown Court heard police sealed off High Street in Knaresborough for four hours on 16 October as a result.

Mr Islam, from Leeds, denies three counts of communicating a bomb hoax.

The court heard Mr Islam had been stopped by police while driving his brother's car on 15 October 2013 and had given police his 22-year-old brother Habibul's name and said he lived at a flat above Paragon Pizza.

'Links to 7/7'

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe said Habibul Islam had insured his car at the address in Knaresborough, despite living in Leeds, as it was cheaper but when police rang the restaurant staff said he did not live there.

Mr Newcombe said Shamsul Islam made the hoax calls in revenge for their refusal to support the lie.

The barrister said Mr Islam gave police details of cars and names of staff, and made references to Beeston, in Leeds, and the 7/7 bombers.

The court heard armed police attended the restaurant, searched the premises and strip searched employees before realising it was a hoax.

Mr Newcombe said Mr Islam was linked to the calls after police discovered a SIM card in his car linked to phones used to make the threats.

He said phone records detailing where the hoax calls were made from showed Mr Islam's personal phone was active in the same area of Leeds at the same time.

Mr Islam has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The court heard Habibul Islam, also from Leeds, has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and making a false statement to obtain insurance.

The trial continues.

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