Airport terror suspect ‘threatened flatmate’
A suspected Islamic terrorist threatened to kill one of his flatmates for playing the guitar, a court heard today.
Devout Muslim Bilal Abdulla told the man to “stop playing and start praying” after taking offence at the instrument, a jury was told.
Abdulla drove one of two Mercedes car bombs to Tiger Tiger nightclub in London’s West End in June 2007, the court has heard.
The next day he was the passenger in a Jeep Cherokee, laden with gas cylinders and petrol, that was rammed into Glasgow Airport.
Mr Maher said the two students were working at their computers when the third man started to play a guitar in another room. Abdulla gestured towards a violent video of an ambush of an American Humvee vehicle in Iraq on his computer.
Mr Maher said: “He made reference to one of those grisly, very grisly videos that would come out of Iraq at that time.
“He said, ‘I told him, you need to stop playing and start praying otherwise this is what we do – we slaughter.”‘
He added: “Immediately after saying it Bilal laughed heartily and I remember laughing as well.
“The reason it stayed so vividly in my memory was the degree to which it was disproportionate.”
Mr Maher explained some strict Muslims would view string instruments as “completely forbidden within Islam“.
The journalist said he was a member of radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahir at that time but he now works to combat extremism.
Mr Maher said Abdulla was studying for an exam that would enable him to practice medicine in Britain.
He revealed that Abdulla held extremist views and supported attacks on the minority Shia population in Iraq.
Mr Maher said: “We met eye to eye on everything but we disagreed very heavily on the classification of Shia Muslims – another branch or sect of Islam.
“Bilal talked openly that Shia should be classified as non-Muslims and supported the sectarian conflict taking place in Iraq at that time.
“I come from the Sunni tradition of Islam, the larger mainstream majority of the world’s Muslims are Sunni.”
Abdulla, 29, is on trial with a second man, Mohammed Asha, 28, accused of conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions.
The two men, who worked as doctors at hospitals in Glasgow and Stoke, deny the offences.