Accused who planned terror attack seen near Lakenheath and Mildenhall RAF bases, court told
- Credit: PA
An alleged Islamic extremist had planned a terror attack on UK and US air force staff, and was seen near Mildenhall and Lakenheath RAF bases, a court has heard.
Junead Khan, 25, drove close by the US Air Force’s RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall complexes in Suffolk, while working as a delivery driver, prosecutors claim.
When he was arrested, al Qaida instructions on how to make a “viable” pipe bomb and pictures of a large military-style knife were found on his laptop and a balaclava was found at his Luton home, the jury was told.
Prosecutor Max Hill QC told Kingston Crown Court that Khan was “preparing for an attack on British forces or American soldiers or airmen” when he was arrested last July.
Mr Hill told the jury: “You may conclude that by arresting Junead Khan on July 7, what happened at that moment was that his plans were therefore, we suggest, thwarted. He was not able to carry out what he wanted to do. But that makes him no less guilty of the charge.”
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Khan is charged with making preparations for attacking military personnel in the UK between May 10 and July 14, which he denies.
He is on trial alongside his uncle, Shazib Khan, 23, also from Luton, with whom he is jointly charged with making preparations for travelling to Syria to fight for Islamic State (IS).
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The pair deny engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts on August 1 2014 and July 15 2015.
The trial heard that Junead Khan was working as a driver for pharmaceutical firm Alliance Healthcare when he was arrested at its depot in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
Mr Hill added that Junead Khan’s work “meant that he was required to make deliveries of pharmaceuticals to locations in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk”, which took him near places “in which there were American air force personnel”.
When police raided his home they found a laptop containing an article called “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom”, from the online magazine of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It gave instructions for the construction of a “viable” pipe bomb, the jury was told.
Officers also found black flags in the attic with Islamic slogans of the type used by IS jihadists, the court heard, and pictures on his phone and laptop that showed him posing in front of them in his bedroom.
US and British flags believed to have been stolen from the New York Diner in nearby Dunstable were also found in the bedroom, the jury was told.