A MYSTERY man ordered 50 litres of liquid oxygen from a shop in Kirklees in the run-up to the London bombings which killed more 50 people.
Huddersfield teenager Jermaine Lindsay and three fellow bombers brought terror and carnage to London on July 7, 2005, when they caused four explosions, blowing themselves up in three Tube stations and on a bus.
Two Leeds men and a third from London are accused of conspiring with the four bombers and others unknown to cause explosions between November 17, 2004 and July 8, 2005.
The three – Sadeer Saleem, 27, and Mohammed Shakil, 31, both from Beeston, south Leeds, and Waheed Ali, 24, from Tower Hamlets, east London – all deny the charge and are on trial at Kingston Crown Court in London.
Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, said an Asian man went into a hydroponics store in Batley and ordered 50 litres of liquid oxygen.
The court heard the man left a cash deposit of £100, but never returned to collect his order after the shopkeeper shouted after him as he left the shop: “Do you know you can make explosives with that?”
Phone calls that day between the defendants and the bombers provided a clear indication it was linked to their activities, said Mr Flewitt.
The jury had earlier been given an outline of the detailed mobile phone records which tracked the movements of the three defendants, along with Lindsay and Hussain, across London during a two-day reconnaissance visit.
The defendants are accused of going to London on December 16 and 17, 2004. They pinpointed potential targets and visited the Natural History Museum, the London Eye and the London Aquarium.
The court heard that “cell site” analysis, cash machine withdrawals and Shakil’s Mitsubishi car twice going through the congestion charge zone all provided evidence of the men’s activities in the capital.
Mobile calls placed two of the defendants at the Natural History Museum while the court heard that a number of calls were made to the London Tourist Board and attractions including the London Eye and London Zoo during the time they were there.
Records also showed that all five men stayed overnight in the £15-per-head Journey’s Hostel in Caledonian Road.
The following morning Shakil’s car was given a parking ticket and he later reported it had been the victim of an arson attack outside his parents’ home and it was written off by the insurance company.
Mr Flewitt said that nine days later Ali and Saleem flew from Manchester Airport to Islamabad and did not return until February 26, 2005. Bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan, of Thornhill Lees, and Shezhad Tanweer, of Leeds, had previously travelled out to Pakistan on November 18, 2004, the court was told.
Ali and Saleem had visited the Pakistani Consulate in Bradford and submitted visa applications the day after Khan and Tanweer had obtained theirs.
The stated purpose of the trip was to visit Saleem’s grandfather, Abdul Majeed, in Mirpur. But the court heard that Mr Majeed travelled to the UK less than two weeks after the pair had arrived to visit him.
Mr Flewitt said: “You will have to consider whether the reason given by Ali and Saleem for their trip to Pakistan was true of whether it was simply a cover for a trip that had some other purpose.’’
The jury was shown CCTV footage which captured a further alleged reconnaissance trip to London carried out by Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay on June 28, 2005.
Images were captured on various security cameras across the transport network.
One image showed the trio arriving at Luton station at around 8.10am, a very similar time to the bombings nine days later.
They then arrived at King’s Cross and went on the Tube network, where CCTV captured them travelling to Embankment, South Kensington and Baker Street stations before eventually returning to Luton.
Mr Flewitt said: “They spent only four hours in London on what was clearly not a sightseeing trip.”
The case continues.