OTTAWA – A Canadian man accused of participating in a plot to bomb British targets in 2004 is a mortal enemy of the West, the prosecutor charged during the trial's closing arguments Tuesday.
Momin Khawaja, a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen, allegedly collaborated with British Muslims, also of Pakistani descent, in a thwarted plan to bomb British buildings and natural gas lines. Five alleged co-conspirators were convicted in London last year and jailed for life.
Khawaja intended to kill Westerners, prosecutor David McKercher said in summing up his case after presenting five weeks of evidence over the summer in Ontario Superior Court.
"He meant to become the West's mortal enemy," McKercher said. "It was his intention to bring death and destruction to the West."
Khawaja pleaded not guilty to all charges alleging his involvement in a plot to attack a nightclub, a shopping center and electrical and gas facilities in Britain
The defense lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, did not call Khawaja or anyone else to testify.
Greenspon has acknowledged Khawaja, an Ottawa software developer, created a remote-control device for setting off explosives. But he insisted it was meant for use against military targets in Afghanistan — not for a homemade fertilizer bomb being constructed by the plotters in London. He says the plotters never let Khawaja in on their plans to mount attacks in Britain.
The prosecution's star witness, Mohammed Babar, a former al-Qaida operative turned police informant, testified that Khawaja attended a training camp in Pakistan in 2003. He also claimed Khawaja acted as a courier to deliver money and supplies and discussed various potential operations.
Khawaja faces seven charges under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, including the key allegation that he built the remote-control device to trigger explosions. He is also accused of financing and facilitating terrorism, participating in terrorist training and meetings, and making a house owned by his family in Pakistan available for terrorist use.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.