Frenchman on trial in Britain for terror offence

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Nov 25 (AFP) - A French national already condemned in absentia to life in prison in France, was described Thursday in the British court now trying him as illegally possessing documents which could be used to make a bomb.

LONDON, Nov 25 (AFP) - A French national already condemned in absentia to life in prison in France, was described Thursday in the British court now trying him as illegally possessing documents which could be used to make a bomb.

Jacques Karim Abi-Ayad, a 40-year-old allegedly illegal immigrant to England, is on trial at London's Old Bailey criminal court for possession of documents which could be used for a terrorist act, a crime under Britain's tough Terrorism Act.

But a member of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad, Alan Slater, told the court Thursday that his service had found no evidence that Abi-Ayad "had any links to any terrorist or terrorist organization, or had carried out any act of terrorism".

A policeman who raided an apartment where he was residing in Ipswich, Suffolk, east England, described the documents in question as excerpts from "The Anarchist Cookbook" - an anonymous text widely available on the Internet which gives instructions on how to make explosives such as dynamite and Molotov cocktails.

He also had kept press clippings on the Al-Qaeda terror network, an Algerian Islamist group and the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

Prosecutor Sean Larkin said Abi-Ayad had told British police he had fled France in 2000 after having stabbed a man who committed racist abuse against his family.

The Algerian-born Abi-Ayad was tried in absentia in France and condemned in October 2002 to life in prison.

Larkin said the defendant had confessed to collecting the "Anarchist Cookbook" information in order to take revenge upon the man he stabbed, but that the anger had subsided.

"He said he felt angry," Larkin said. "He wanted to get revenge on the man he had stabbed by building a chemical fire bottle and by fire-bombing the man he had stabbed."

The lawyer said that whether Abi-Ayad was telling the truth or was in fact keeping the bomb-making guide for "more sinister purposes", there was no "reasonable excuse" for its possession.

Abi-Ayad was arrested in April after requesting a national insurance number using falsified documents.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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