Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Muslim terror suspect said he felt deaths of US soldiers were a 'gift'

A DERBY Muslim arrested for terrorism offences told people he met online that "when American soldiers die it is like the whole world has given me a gift".

Preston Crown Court heard that Krenar Lusha spoke on the internet of his hatred of Jews and referred to himself as Arabi – the Arabic word for terrorist.

The conversations took place over several months with women Lusha had met on websites such as Muslims For Marriage.

The 30-year-old was arrested in his Normanton home in August last year and charged with 10 counts of possessing articles that give rise to reasonable suspicion they are for a terror-related purpose. He denies the charges.

Yesterday, during his trial, extracts from his web chats, retrieved from computers seized at his home, were read to the jury.

In one, Lusha wrote "jihad will get the best of me, jihad will win me".

In another, he said, "we Muslims are classed as Arabi", while in another conversation he stated, "I love to kill Jews or American soldiers".

The court heard that when Lusha was asked about the conversations during interviews with counter terrorism police he either declined to comment, said he could not remember writing such statements or said someone else must have written them.

In relation to his reference to jihad, he said the word meant "efforts, struggle and hard work".

During the interview, Lusha was asked about videos and documents found on his computer relating to the war in Iraq.

One shown to the jury yesterday was entitled, in Arabic, The Killing of 10 American soldiers in Fallujah and showed a group of soldiers caught in an explosion.

When asked why he had such material, Albanian-born Lusha said he was curious about the war and that some of the videos reminded him of the bad days in his home country.

He told police he had been learning Arabic since 2002 so he could read the Koran, although he did not have a copy of the holy book at home.

As well as the videos, police searching Lusha's Moore Street home found many documents downloaded from the internet, including a Hezbollah military instruction manual, Middle Eastern terrorist bomb design, improvised radio detonation techniques and a Mujahideen explosives handbook.

During the search on August 26 last year, 71.8 litres of petrol and more than 2kg of potassium nitrate – a constituent of gunpowder – were discovered, along with 14 mobile phones.

When asked about the Hezbollah manual, which was downloaded the night before his arrest and included videos on how to make a suicide bomb, Lusha said he had not looked at the document.

The court heard that, during a police interview, Detective Sergeant Graham Holland, of Greater Manchester Police, asked Lusha: "What were you intending to do with the link when it completed the download?"

Lusha replied: "Shut it and if I had time, watch it.

"What I mostly wanted was to see the effect of combat, the effect mentally and spiritually of the price of war."

The trial continues.

This is Derbyshire

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