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I commanded Westminster plot: Afroze

I commanded Westminster plot: Afroze

Author:
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 23, 2005

In 1995, my uncle Mubarak Musalman, came from London to my house. At that time my family was in a financial crisis. My father was not working. My brother earned only Rs 300 a month. We could have only one meal a day.

I agreed to my uncle's suggestion to join Al Qaida for money He sent me Rs 1.5 lakh through hawala for taking flight-training in Australia.

I paid Rs 10,000 for a fake HSC certificate (a board employee corroborated in court, said certificate was fabricated).

I took ground training with Fly Air Academy in 1996 and applied for training in Civil Flying School in Melbourne. I paid Rs 7 lakh, which my uncle sent me, for the advanced course. I left for Melbourne in August 1997 (passport entry shows arrival in Australia on August 7, 1997). There I met Mansoor Iliyaz, Al Qaida chief in Australia.

I completed a 20-hour solo flight-training course and a month later met the 'Suicidal Squad Members' which included one Mohammad Atta. There were 53 members. I still remember some. I used to attend Al Qaida meetings daily in Iliyaz's house.

After undergoing 50 more hours of training, the members were divided into five groups according to their targets: the World Trade Centre in New York, the Pentagon, Westminster in London, Rolta Towers in Australia and the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

In March-April 1998, I met one Md Usmani, navigation planner for all the targets. I was selected for the squad which was to target the Westminster. I was the commanding officer. My co-pilot was Mushtaq Ahmed and six persons would hijack the plane, it was planned. I completed 100 hours of flying and passed the General Flying Progress Test.

I did not complete my commercial pilot-training as our organisation did not want us to change our minds later. I also trained at a flight school in Texas in 1999 and at Bombay Flying Club in 2000.

I reached London in August 2001 and met Musalman. I was chosen as the commanding officer of the squad targeting the Westminster building. On September 11, 2001, I reached Heathrow Airport from where we planned to hijack a domestic London-Manchester flight. But I failed to do so as the airport was closed following attacks on the World Trade Centre. I returned home after the police in London started checking flying clubs.
 


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