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Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

"Fertiliser bomb plot" one of biggest terrorism trials for Crown Prosecution Service

30/04/2007

The year long trial of seven men accused of plotting to cause explosions with fertiliser bombs contained several notable "firsts", said Deborah Walsh, Deputy Head of the Crown Prosecution Service's Counter Terrorism Division.

Ms Walsh said: "This was one of the biggest terrorism trials we have handled in recent years. For the first time in a terrorism trial, we used an enhanced electronic presentation of the surveillance and audio evidence.

"This meant that when counsel was drawing the jury's attention to a particular item, the evidence was there on screen in front of the jurors at the click of a button.

"There was a vast amount of evidence for the jury to take in and by using an electronic presentation we tried to make it less tiring for the jury as we explained what was quite a complicated plot uncovered by the Security Service.

"We arranged with the American authorities to have unprecedented use of a US witness in a British terrorism trial. Mohammed Babar gave what we thought was compelling and detailed evidence of his contacts with the defendants and their plans to blow up various targets."

To give an idea of the extent of the prosecution case, there were:

  • 3,644 witness statements taken from 1,335 people
  • 3,070 pages of witness statements served as evidence
  • 105 prosecution witnesses

The CPS was involved from a very early stage in the case, said Ms Walsh, even before the suspects were arrested.

She said: "For more than three years we and the police Counter Terrorism Command have worked exhaustively in co-operation with the security and intelligence agencies, and international colleagues, to present this case. The close working relationship of all the agencies meant that we were able to present a coherent and detailed case to the jury.

"We would like to thank the jury for their close attention throughout this long trial. It is very important that people who are charged with terrorism activities have a fair trial and are judged according to the due process of the law.

"We are determined to prosecute cases of terrorism with vigour."

  1. Omar Khyam and Shujah Mahmood denied conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004, along with Waheed Mahmood, Jawad Akbar, Salahuddin Amin, Anthony Garcia, and Nabeel Hussain, Mr Khyam, Mr Garcia and Mr Hussain denied a further charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 1,300lb (600kg) of ammonium nitrate fertiliser for terrorism. Omar Khyam and Shujah Mahmood also denied possessing aluminium powder for terrorism.
  2. The trial opened at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on 21 March 2006.
  3. More facts and figures:
  4.  

    • Six expert witnesses dealt with explosives, fingerprints, speech acoustics and mobile phone analysis
    • 11,785 pages of exhibits served as evidence
    • Exhibits included transcripts of the defendants' interviews with the police, photographs, transcripts of audio probes, emails, surveillance footage
    • 4,400 pages in the jury bundles
  5. For further information contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.