UK spies in disguise testify at US terror trial

2015-02-24 23:11

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Spies working for Britain's MI5 intelligence agency donned wigs and makeup on Tuesday to testify against a Pakistani al-Qaeda suspect on trial in New York for allegedly plotting to blow up a British shopping centre.

Three surveillance officers, identified as 1661, 1488 and 1498, detailed how they followed the defendant, Abid Naseer, in March and April 2009 in the cities of Manchester and Liverpool in northern England.

The two men and one woman wore heavy black and dark-brown wigs and partially shielded their eyes behind spectacles. The men also wore beards.

The agents said they followed the defendant, codenamed "small panel", as part of Operation Pathway as he visited a shopping centre in Manchester, allegedly the target of the plot, a mosque and other locations.

US government prosecutors say Naseer helped al-Qaeda plan an attack on the Manchester shopping centre as part of coordinated attacks targeting the New York subway and a Danish newspaper.

They called it one of the most serious terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Naseer denies the charges and faces life in prison if convicted.

The surveillance officers said they followed the defendant in the company of two other men, codenamed Happy Skater and Glass Pendant.

The trial in a US federal court in Brooklyn allowed the defendant, who is representing himself in court, to cross-examine the first spy, who wore a John Lennon-style dark brown wig and thin-rimmed spectacles.

Crucially to the government's case, the officer said he had never seen the defendant in the company of a woman. The defence argues that Naseer was embarked on a quest to get married and not carry out the attack.

Naseer was extradited from Britain in 2013 and is charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, commit murder abroad and supporting al-Qaeda, among other charges.

He was first arrested in 2009 in Britain with 11 other men suspected of preparing an attack against the Manchester mall.

They were released without charge, but Naseer was arrested for a second time in July 2010 at the request of Brooklyn prosecutors, who accused him of participating in the plot to attack the New York subway in 2009.

Read more on:    us  |  terrorism

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.