LONDON – Three British Muslim men accused of plotting a mass casualty bomb attack were secretly recorded discussing plans to strap sharp blades to the front of a truck and drive it into a crowd, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Brian Altman said suspect Irfan Khalid, 27, was heard describing the device, featured in the al-Qaida magazine Inspire, and saying the idea was to "just drive it into people in (a) crowded area."
"Yeah and do what AQ (al-Qaida) said, put that blades at the front of it and trample on everyone," he was recorded saying.
Khalid, 27-year-old Ashik Al and Irfan Naseer, 31, are accused of plotting to set off multiple bombs, either on timers or in suicide strikes, in a bid to launch an attack bigger than the 2005 London transit bombings, which killed 52 people.
Prosecutors say they were the senior members of a home-grown terror cell inspired by the anti-Western sermons of U.S.-born Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in Yemen in September 2011.
The suspects were among 12 people arrested in September 2011 in counter-terrorism raids in Birmingham, central England.
The three have pleaded not guilty to charges of preparing for terrorism. The other suspects have pleaded guilty or face trial later.
Prosecutors say timings and targets for the plot had not been finalized. But Altman told a jury at London's Woolwich Crown Court that the men had conversations suggesting they planned to die during a terrorist attack this summer.
He said the trio was recorded last year discussing the need for their car to get a new tax certificate by June or July.
Khalid said "we're dead by then" and "we're probably out of here by next June, brother."