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Sheffield terror trial: Jury to continue considering its verdicts

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Farhad Salah (left) and Andy Star (second right) are accused of preparing a home-made bomb for a terrorist attack in the UK.Sketch made during their first court hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court last year.
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Farhad Salah (left) and Andy Star (second right) are accused of preparing a home-made bomb for a terrorist attack in the UK.Sketch made during their first court hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court last year.

A jury in the trial of a Sheffield man accused of plotting a terror attack is due to continue considering its verdict today.

Farhad Salah, 23, of Brunswick Road, Burngreave, and Andy Star, aged 32, of Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, are accused of plotting to manufacture a remote-controlled explosive device.

Both men deny a single charge of preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

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During a four-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court, jurors were told how the men had attempted to build the weapon in a laboratory above the Mermaid Fish Bar restaurant on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, where Star worked and lived.

Prosecutors allege that the defendants, both Iraqi-Kurds, had hoped to harm ‘infidels’ by building a weapon that could be placed inside a driver-less car and controlled remotely.

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The court heard how Salah had told a contact shortly before his arrest in December last year: "My only attempt is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver, everything is perfect only the programme is left."

According to Anne Whyte QC, prosecuting, such messages were evidence that the two defendants were ‘attack planning,’ alleging that they were both supporters of the Islamic State terror organisation.

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Ms Whyte added that Star and Salah appeared to have ‘sophisticated’ and ‘lethal’ intentions, adding that there was evidence to suggest that they had been testing ‘from a very low level how to make and ignite explosives’.

Sending the jury out to start deliberations, Judge Paul Watson said: "The defence say that this charge arises from a whole series of misunderstandings.

"Misunderstandings of the evidence, and the true character of the two defendants."

 Of the prosecution case, he added: "Whatever the legend or cover story, both of these men, the prosecution say, were involved in planning to commit a terrorist attack which is unknown and happily, say the Crown, will never be known because of the timely intervention of the police."