‘Al Qaeda operative’ Abid Naseer found guilty of planning to blow up Manchester shopping centre

'Al Qaeda operative' found guilty of planning to blow up Manchester shopping centre
Abid Naseer has been arrested as a terror suspect (Picture: Handout)

A man who was part of a group plotting a spate of terrorist attacks across Europe and America, including the blowing up of a shopping centre in Manchester, has been found guilty of terrorism offences in New York.

Abid Naseer, 28, who acted as his own lawyer during the trial in New York and had pleaded not guilty to the charges, faces a possible life sentence.

Prosecutors said the British plot was part of a broader al Qaida conspiracy calling on other cells to attack civilians in New York and Denmark.

During the trial, four MI5 agents – who were disguised using make-up – described weeks of surveillance they conducted on Naseer in 2009, including movements to and from an Islamic centre and a cyber cafe.

MORE: Al Qaida terror suspect Abid Naseer arrested over US warrant

Pakistani-born Naseer, who said he travelled to England to take computer science classes, was extradited from the UK to the United States in 2013.

The Arndale shopping centre in Manchester was one of his potential targets.

The centre had previously been the target of an IRA bomb attack in 1996.

Abid Naseer listens to a verdict being read in his federal trial in Brooklyn, New York, in this March 4, 2015 courtroom sketch. Pakistani Abid Naseer, 28, was convicted on Wednesday on U.S. charges of participating in an al Qaeda plot to attack targets in Europe and the United States. Naseer was found guilty by a federal jury in Brooklyn of providing and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a destructive device. He faces life in prison. His lawyer said after the conviction that he would appeal.   REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg   (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) ATTENTION EDITORS - NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Abid Naseer listens to a verdict being read in his federal trial in Brooklyn, New York (Picture: Reuters)

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Large quantities of cooking oil and flour were found in Naseer’s kitchen, materials prosecutors said could be used to make a bomb.

Naseer, in contrast, said he was planning a wedding.

He objected several times during the trial when evidence was given by the first prosecution witness, former New York resident Najibullah Zazi, who had pleaded guilty to involvement in the New York City part of the plot, which targeted the subways.

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4 March 2015 | 9:45 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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