- Andy Star accused of stockpiling materials capable for use as explosive device
- Allegedly schemed alongside Farhad Salah to carry out attacks in the near future
- The 'ISIS supporting' pair had previously sought asylum in the UK, a court heard
- Both are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court on terror charges for up to four weeks
These are the two 'ISIS supporting' Iraqi Kurds accused of planning a 'sophisticated and lethal' terror attack in the UK after seeking asylum.
Andy Sami Star and Farhad Salah allegedly plotted to carry out a devastating terror attack using a driverless car packed with explosives so they did not have to martyr themselves.
Star, 32, allegedly stockpiled 506g of viable low explosive material, fireworks, a wine bottle containing sulphuric acid and fuses in a flat above a chip shop in Sheffield to produce a homemade bomb.
He is accused of scheming alongside 23-year-old Salah - pictured for the first time today - to carry out attacks in the near future at an unidentified location.
The pair supported ISIS and sought to harm 'others that they considered to be infidels', Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC read extracts from messages sent by Salah to a contact on social media.
In one message from December 14, Salah said (sic): 'We have made invention in the field of explosion.
'We have produced substance[a drug] if you put it in any explosive it triples the power.. And also controlling vehicle with laptop and without a driver.'
He then sent an image of what appeared to be copper pipes crimped at each end with fuses and a 20-second homemade video clip demonstrating the lighting of a fuse, a court heard.
In another message, Salah told how one point was outstanding, finding "the data for between the vehicle/car and the control this is for big vehcile/cars not small ones" (sic).
Miss Whyte QC said: 'The prosecution say that this was the clearest evidence that Star working together with Salah had been testing from a very low level how to make and ignite explosives.
'By 14 December the development of the device or devices that they intended to use was still far from complete.
'But their intention was sophisticated and lethal and they were recording it to let their brethren know and to motivate those brethren.
'They intended to manufacture a device which would preferably be placed in a vehicle but controlled remotely so that they did not have to martyr themselves in the process.'
Salah allegedly was a habitual user of social media and would regularly 'like' Facebook videos posted by others which glorifies the martyrdom and the military activity of IS fighters.
In police interview, Salah denied any involvement in terrorism. He told police he had stopped using his Facebook account in one name some nine to 12 months ago because someone had hacked into it.
Salah denied viewing videos of explosives being detonated and asserted that Star’ manufacture of fireworks was purely to do with New Year celebrations.
Star denied any involvement in terrorism also and said that he did not support Islamic State.
Today Miss Whyte QC said: 'We allege that both men were working to a common purpose in their own way but together.
'We do submit that they did support the organisation and believed unconditionally in its aspiration to use military force and violence to subdue non-believers and unite all Muslims under one banner.
'They worked together, in their own ways for a common terrorist purpose and their guilt, you can be sure we say, once you have heard all the evidence in this case, is joint.'
Police swooped in 6am raids on December 19 last year, a court heard. Officers forced entry to The Mermaid fish bar in Chesterfield, South Yorkshire and arrested Star, who was wearing only a pair of white sports shorts.
Salah was apprehended by police after being arrested at the Fatima Community Centre in Sheffield where he was living.
A Senior forensic case officer concluded there were several partially constructed explosive devices and a number of already functioning devices at the fish bar where Star worked and lived.
A quantity of viable low explosive material and improvised pyrotechnic fuses were also discovered, jurors heard.
Both men deny preparing to commit acts of terrorism and are standing trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
They are accused of researching the manufacture of explosive substances and obtaining the component parts including chemicals in order to construct improvised explosive devices.
It's also alleged they manufactured and tested explosive substances and improvised explosive devices with a view to committing attacks in the United Kingdom.
Opening the case this morning, prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said: 'We will never know how these defendants met and quite what the level of contact was between them.
'We do submit that they were sufficiently associated with one another to discuss homemade explosives and jointly to research and manufacture and test them with a shared intent.
'The prosecution allege that Salah and Star had decided that improvised explosive devices could be made and used in a way here in the UK that spared their own lives preferably but harmed others they considered to be infidels.
'It is the prosecution case that both Salah and Star supported Islamic State and jointly prepared to commit acts of terrorism on its behalf.'
Officers searched Star's fish bar and found a small fridge had been placed directly below the ceiling hatch that provided access to a loft, it was said.
Over the course of the next few days, officers found cylinders made from plastic and foil, homemade fireworks, lengths of copper piping, a wine bottle containing sulphuric acid.
The armed forces were drafted in to carry out controlled explosions in the flat above the fish bar, a court heard.
Police also discovered air rifle components including a silencer and telescopic sight, two Samurai swords in scabbards, various powders and a variety of improvised homemade fuses.
Police simultaneously raided Salah's address and upon arrest told him he was suspected of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.
In the days leading up to his arrest, Salah was in contact with 'like-minded people' and sent them a graphic video glorifying the military prowess of Islamic State, a court heard.
On 7 December, Salah also posted on Facebook comments which included 'Muslims never ever going to [be] successful till they doing jihad'.
In another message to 'I am not Snow to be Melted', he said: 'My only attempt [sic] is to find a way to carry out martyrdom operation with cars without driver everything is perfect only the programme is left…'
'In other words he was attack planning. But he was not planning alone,' added Miss Whyte QC.
'Star was obtaining the materials necessary to conduct small test runs with explosives and Star was making those devices in his flat.
'Salah in turn was communicating his intentions to other people.'
Star's web searches indicated an interest in Islamic State, the court heard. On 3 November he googled the name of an IS commander and also searched for 'ak47 sniper'.
On 4 November a video file was created on his iPhone which showed a person at night outside throwing an object up into the sky, it is allleged.
The object is seen to explode and the caption on the moving image reads 'Homemade Fireworks', it was said.
Salah arrived in the UK in 2014 and sought asylum. Star's date of entry is not known but he applied for asylum in 2008.
Star was granted asylum and indefinite leave to remain with no restrictions on his ability to work in 2010.
By the time of their arrests, Salah's asylum claim had still not been determined. The trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks, continues.