Terrorists Targeted Ministry Of Sound

Ministry Of Sound was the famous London club targeted by terrorists two years ago, an Old Bailey jury heard May 24th.

It’s the first time the venue has been named since a seven-man gang that’s said to have Al-Qaida links was put on trial at the end of March.

Omar Khyam (24), his 19-year-old brother Shujah Mahmood, Waheed Mahmood (34) and Jawad Akbar (22), from Crawley, West Sussex, Salahuddin Amin (31) from Luton, Beds, Anthony Garcia (23) of Ilford, London, and Nabeel Hussain (21) of Horley, Surrey, deny conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004.

Khyam, Garcia and Hussain also deny a charge under the Terrorism Act of possessing 600kg (1,300lb) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that could be used to make bombs.

Khyam and Shujah Mahmood further deny possessing aluminium powder.

They were arrested March 30, 2004, after the fertilizer was found stored in a west London depot.

In secret recordings made by security surveillance teams, Akbar and Khyam appear to be discussing possible targets.

If Ministry Of Sound was the target, a voice the prosecution claims is Akbar’s is heard to say, they would not be blamed for killing innocent people but “those slags dancing around.”

The jury heard another voice, which is said to be Khyam’s, discussing an attack on utility companies in order to cut off essential supplies around the country.

But Akbar suggests that the central London venue would make a softer target for a terror attack, according to the prosecution.

The Ministry of Sound was founded 15 years ago by Jamie Palumbo, son of the developer Lord Palumbo, and was one of the city’s first super-clubs. It can hold up to 1,800.

The court was read a written statement from Ministry general manager Gary Smart that said 1.5 million people had visited the club since it opened.

“If the Ministry of Sound was to be subjected to terrorist attack, then it’s clear that the consequences could be devastating with such a large number of people in such a confined space,” it said.

“The impact could result in loss of life, injury or structural damage.”

The trial continues.

– John Gammon