London, Dec 19 (ANI): A British Muslim from Manchester described by the police as an al-Qaeda mastermind who considered mass murder to be part of his duty became the first person to be convicted of the charge of directing terrorism.
Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of Greater Manchester's counter-terrorism unit, said: "Rangzieb Ahmed is a very dangerous man. He consorts with senior terrorist figures and has devoted his life to creating and working with terrorist networks. We believe that he was intent on masterminding terrorist attacks and would have considered mass murder part of his duty."
Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, travelled to Dubai from Pakistan as part of a three-man al-Qaeda cell in December 2005 and was set to fly out to South Africa as part of a "major activity", The Independent reported.
But the plans went awry when his boss, Hamza Rabia - al-Qaeda's suspected former third-in-command was killed by an air strike in Pakistan.
Ahmed was apparently considered so important within the organisation that he then summoned another British man, Habib Ahmed, 29, to the Middle East to carry incriminating diaries containing details of top al-Qaeda operatives that were written in invisible ink.
Among the details in the diaries - which were described in court during the 11-week trial as a terrorist's contact book - were those of Hamza Rabia, Mamoun Darkazanli, a suspected terrorist financier linked to the 2004 Madrid bombings, and Khalid Habib, a noted guerrilla fighter.
Counter-terrorism officers from Greater Manchester Police were already monitoring the two men and bugged their hotel room in Dubai, where they made several coded references to al-Qaeda, the paper said.
Habib Ahmed, a taxi driver from Cheetham Hill, north Manchester, was convicted of one count of professing to belong to al-Qaeda but was cleared of attending a terrorist training camp. His wife, Mehreen Haji, 28, was cleared of two counts of arranging funding for the purposes of terrorism. (ANI)