LONDON, England (AP) — A British Muslim convert who was arrested near the Channel Tunnel was convicted Friday of two counts of possessing items of use to terrorists.
Andrew Rowe, 34, was convicted of having a notebook containing details on how to fire mortar bombs, and a code for terrorism.
The jury deadlocked on a third count which accused Rowe of having a pair of socks, adapted with a cord, for terrorist purposes.
Ken Macdonald, the director of public prosecutions, hailed the convictions as a first success for his office’s Counter-Terrorism Division, set up in May.
“The challenge we successfully met was to prove to the jury that although there was no direct link between Andrew Rowe and a particular terrorist act, possession of those items together with other supporting evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that he had them for the purpose of terrorism,” Macdonald said.
Prosecutors said traces of high explosives were detected on a pair of socks found in his luggage at the French side of the tunnel in October 2003, prosecutors said.
Rowe testified he had used the socks as gloves for unloading ammunition in Bosnia in 1995 and had since used them to practice martial arts kicks.
A book containing notes on how to fire a mortar bomb and a code substituting words such as target with mobile phone models, were found at addresses connected to him in London and Birmingham.
Rowe said the notebook was a memento from Bosnia and the code would have been used to target courier drops for aid and arms to help Chechen separatists.
Prosecutor Mark Ellison said the code “made it possible to communicate in an innocent message which only spoke about mobile telephones.”
For instance, Ellison said, money was Nokia 3310, trouble-police was 3410, weapon 3610 and airport 3310.
A draft of a letter written on the other side said Rowe was going abroad on “mobile phone business” and would be meeting someone who needed help.
Rowe had traveled widely after embracing Islam, the prosecutor said, and had had four passports in seven years.