Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham railway lines 'potential target' of bomb suspect

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Media captionA jury has been shown CCTV footage

A would-be terrorist who "contemplated" using railway lines as terrorist attack targets was captured on CCTV clambering into a storm drain near tracks, jurors heard.

Zahid Hussain is accused of attempting to fashion a bomb using a pressure cooker and fairy lights.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were shown a film capturing a hooded figure, said to be Mr Hussain, near a railway embankment in the city.

Mr Hussain, 29, denies several charges.

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Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Mr Hussain denies several charges at Birmingham Crown Court

Prosecutors say the footage shows Mr Hussain carrying a JD Sports bag while investigating the high-speed stretch of railway as a possible target.

Part of the footage captures a Virgin Trains service passing Woodlands Road, Alum Rock, shortly before the man shown on the film walks into a garden adjoining the railway.

The man can be seen struggling to lever up the manhole cover with a crowbar before descending into the drain.

'Guerrilla' book

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC said: "There is no evidence indicating that Mr Hussain had formed a settled plan to attack a particular section of railway line but you may think that it would be reasonable to draw an inference that Mr Hussain had at the least contemplated the use of railway lines as a potential target for a terrorist attack."

Jurors have heard a "US Army Guerrilla" book found at his home in Naseby Road, Alum Rock, was apparently bookmarked at a section covering attacks on railways.

Mr Hussain denies preparation of terrorist acts, two counts of making explosives and one of attempting to make explosives.

He has been given permission to witness his trial via a videolink to a psychiatric hospital.

The trial continues.

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