British court convicts man of possessing terror manuals

Prosecutors say material found on Altimimi's computer identified nightclubs and airports as "suitable targets".

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July 5, 2007 16:16
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A man who sought asylum in Britain was convicted Thursday of possessing terrorist training manuals, including instructions on using gas canisters to make car bombs. There was no indication in court that Omar Altimimi, 37, had any connection to recent failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow by terrorists using cars filled with petrol and gas canisters. Prosecutors said material found on Altimimi's computer identified nightclubs and airports as "suitable targets." The jury in Manchester Crown found him guilty Wednesday of four counts of possessing material of use to terrorists, then convicted him Thursday of two further charges of the same offense and two counts of money laundering. He faces sentencing Friday along with co-defendant Yusuf Abdullah, 30, who pleaded guilty to money laundering. "He appears to have been a 'sleeper' remaining in the shadows waiting and preparing for action," said Tony Porter, who heads the Greater Manchester Police counterterrorism unit. "We will never know exactly what Altimimi was preparing to do, but it was clear he had support and links with terrorists across the world." Altimimi came to Britain from the Netherlands in 2002, and applied for asylum for himself, his wife and their three children. Altimimi kept up at least three identities. "We will never know who Altimimi really is," Porter said, adding: "He is a congenital liar and has lied throughout this investigation." Prosecutors said Altimimi was linked to terrorists in the Netherlands and to Junade Feroze, who was sentenced last month to 22 years in prison for his part in a bomb plot led by Dhiren Barot. Barot, 35, a British convert to Islam, was convicted of planning to use vehicles packed with explosives to attack targets in London or New York. Prosecutors also charged that Barot had drawn up plans to build and detonate a so-called dirty bomb, which combines radioactive materials with conventional explosives. Barot was sentenced to life in prison. Altimimi was arrested in March 2006 on suspicion of money laundering, involving $54,610 stolen from the Yemen Tourist Board. At the time of his arrest, Altimimi was attempting to withdraw funds transferred to him by Abdullah, police said.

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