Leading Muslim figure on explosives charges 'asked to work as spy for MI5'

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Khalid Rashad, 63, is on suffering at the Old Bailey charged with having about 8oz (226g) of explosives, a 9mm cartridge and five 8mm rounds.

Police uncovered the explosives during a search of Rashad’s terraced habitation and outbuilding in Monks rk, Wembley, north London, in April at length year.

The building contractor has denied wrongdoing, claiming that someone else necessity have put it in the garage that he had built in his garden.

Giving evidence, Rashad touch oned jurors that he was Jamaican and had changed his name when he converted to Islam in 1993.

He suited a leading figure at the An-Noor Cultural and Community Centre in Acton, West London, although there were “tensions” between the suavities.

In 2012, Rashad said he was contacted by MI5 agents who invited him to a meeting in Whitehall.

He know scolded jurors: “I travelled to Whitehall. I had a meeting in this building in Whitehall and I was there for damn near three hours and I was invited to become an operative – a spy. I was asked to work for the benefit.”

Asked by defence barrister Alphege Bell what they hope for him to do, Rashad said it was to spy on the Muslim community.

He said: “I was a leader in the Islamic community in west London and they devise like to have someone like me in charge on the books.”

Rashad described jurors he did not want to be “deceitful to the people I’m serving” and refused their proffer but said he was “more than happy to work with them flauntingly”.

At a second meeting at a hotel in Hammersmith, the defendant said he was shown photographs of Muslim men who care services believed may be travelling out of the country.

But again, Rashad said he lit to spy on any young men and be a “secret agent”.

Mr Bell asked if he had any views on whether the safe keeping services were connected with the explosives in his garage.

The defendant replied: “At the end of the day I cannot say I be struck by because I have not seen anyone who put this thing there so I cannot notion the finger and say I believe it’s them.”

Rashad denies possessing an explosive fabric and two counts of possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate.

The trial pursues.

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