TWO men accused of helping plan the July 7 bombings went on trips to Pakistan with ringleader Mohammed Siddique Khan, a court has heard.

Mohammed Shakil took part in terror training camps during a “fact finding mission” for those interested in fighting jihad, after flying out with Edgware Road bomber Khan in July 2003, the court was told.

A jury heard that two years earlier Waheed Ali had also travelled to Pakistan with Khan – staying for more than a month.

Khan lived in Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, with his wife and young child.

Shakil, 31, from Beeston, Leeds and Ali, 24, from Tower Hamlets, east London are standing trial with a third man, Sadeer Saleem, 27, from Beeston, where they deny conspiring with the July 7 bombers to cause explosions between November 17, 2004 and July 8, 2005.

They are accused of carrying out a two-day reconnaissance mission in London, including tourist attractions such as the London Eye, the Natural History Museum and the London Aquarium.

Suicide bombers Khan, Shezhad Tanweer, former Rawthorpe high School pupil Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain murdered 52 innocent people when they set off bombs on the capital’s transport network.

Neil Flewitt QC told the jury at Kingston Crown Court that on July 24 2003, Khan and Shakil were met at Islamabad Airport by convicted terrorist Mohammed Junaid Babar and another man who used the name “Ausman”.

The court heard that while in Pakistan, Khan and Shakil used pseudonyms to protect their identities.

Mr Flewitt said Babar, who is currently in prison in the United States, will give evidence to the trial via videolink in which he will say how Khan and Shakil told him they had on a previous occasion trained in Kashmir and fought in Afghanistan.

He told the jury that although the pair were on a fact finding mission, they were persuaded to attend a training camp where they both took part in firearms training using light machine guns, rocket propelled grenade launchers and AK47 assault rifles.

Both men appeared “confident and experienced” in the use of their weapons and said they wanted to fight jihad in Afghanistan, Mr Flewitt added.

He said: “That trip to Pakistan provides further evidence of the mindset and motivation of Mohammed Shakil. If the trip made by Waheed Ali in 2001 was for a similar purpose, then, in his case too, you have a further indication of his commitment to fighting jihad.”

The four suicide bombers murdered 52 people when they set off bombs on the capital’s transport network in 2005.

Mr Flewitt said that the three defendants did not make or transport the bombs but they did help the bombers “in one particular and important aspect of their preparation for the London bombings”.

The trio travelled from Leeds to London with Hasib Hussain, who went on to detonate his bomb on the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square, in December 2004. There they met Jermaine Lindsay, the teenager who grew up in Dalton and Bradley Mills, who went on to kill 26 people on a Piccadilly Line underground train.

In the capital they visited a series of locations which, said Mr Flewitt, bore a “striking similarity” to the locations where the bombs were detonated on July 7 the following year.

Saleem and Shakil visited the Natural History Museum, the London Eye and the London Aquarium.

Mr Flewitt told the jury that all three defendants accept they made the trip, but deny they had anything to do with the London bombings.