MOMBASA, Feb 18 – A British detective gave evidence Monday in Kenya at the trial of suspected British militant Jermaine Grant, accused of ties to Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab and plotting attacks.
Grant was arrested in December 2011 in Mombasa with various chemicals, batteries and switches, which prosecutors say he planned to use to make explosives. He denies the charges.
In Monday’s hearing, the counter-terrorism officer, Detective Inspector Stephen Ball, told the court that Jihadist documents and other materials “clearly dedicated to the making of explosives and weaponry” were found on a flash storage drive allegedly in Grant’s possession.
The detective said other document detailed chemicals that could be used to make explosives, and various ways of making booby-traps to target government officials, police or bomb disposal teams.
“These files speak for themselves and show the person’s interest in the construction of an improvised explosive device, and with the chemicals files show intent to obtain the materials to make such a device,” the court was told.
Prosecutors have accused Grant, a 30-year-old Muslim convert, of working with fellow Briton Samantha Lewthwaite – the fugitive widow of British suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay, who blew himself up on a London Underground train on July 7, 2005, killing 26 people.
Lewthwaite, a mother-of-three and daughter of a British soldier, is wanted by Kenyan police and there was some speculation that she was involved in last year’s Westgate mall siege in Nairobi.
Grant is believed to have become radicalised as a teenager in the same British prison where “shoe bomber” Richard Reid first turned to Islam.
Reid, who claimed he was an Al-Qaeda recruit, is serving a life sentence in the United States for trying to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001.
In December 2011 Grant pleaded guilty to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced to two jail terms of two years, to run concurrently.
However, he was acquitted of robbery charges in a separate trial in Nairobi last year.