A rare case has come before the courts in which a British based man stands accused of building a bomb in Syria that was planted in Baghdad throughout 2007. Anis Sardar is standing trial at Woolwich Crown Court in South London for alleged crimes that took place abroad because he lives and works in London.
The 38-year-old is accused of making bombs in Syria that were planted in Baghdad throughout 2007. He is accused of taking part in the Iraqi insurgency and said to  have built a bomb that caused the death of a 34 year old Sergeant
First Class Randy Johnson, of 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, when it hit the armoured vehicle he was travelling in September 2007. The court heard that other US soldiers were seriously injured by the blast and also in a firefight while dealing with another IED 

Prosecutor Max Hill QC told the jury comprising of 5 men and 7 women: “This is an unusual trial, in that almost all of the evidence you will hear and see comes from Iraq.  “The offences, we say, are the most serious imaginable, and the British link is the fact that the defendant, a British citizen, lives and works here.“For that reason, it is lawful to place him on trial in London, even though the activities you will hear about too place far away in Iraq. The strange thing about this case is that if the defendant was taking part in the war by making a bomb, it is unclear why he is not viewed in the same way as a soldier would be viewed since this is a war. The main problem the defendant may have is his claim to have gone to Iraq to study Arabic  despite the fact documents in his house demonstrated an advanced understanding of the language.

The deduction from prosecutors is that even if it was true that he was studying languages, this was used as a smokescreen to conceal his true intention of bomb-making, in Syria or  neighbouring Iraq.

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“During the period with which we are concerned, namely several months during 2007,  QC Hill stated , a number of bombs or improvised explosive devices were found buried under the roads leading west from Baghdad in Iraq.

“One of those bombs detonated fully as a US military vehicle passed over it, killing Sergeant Johnson.
“Several other bombs were recovered, in at least one instance after a firefight in which further US military soldiers were injured.” The prosecutor added that the devices linked to the case “were not off-the-shelf bombs, they were made with deadly intent”.The bombs were later taken from Iraq to an FBI lab in the US for examination by experts, and were concluded to be the same ones found on the road from Baghdad to a prison known as Abu Ghraib.  

Two of the bombs had the finger prints of the suspect and another two revealed the finger prints of another man, Sjad Adnan. Both men had apparently been working together to build the bombs, though the bomb that killed  Sergeant Johnson only had finger prints belonging to Adnan.  Two of the bombs recovered were in tact and one was safely detonated by  a bomb disposal team.

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This had ”nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of the Iraqi war”, the second Iraqi war or the current  war in Syria, the prosecutor  insisted. There would seem to be a logical flaw in making such assertion, because if a war is wrong, and all that accompanies the war is wrong, then it raises legitimate questions as to how a man defending a ‘wrong’ war can be put on trial for taking part in the war if indeed his actions are tantamount to participation in this respect.

The  court heard that the device that killed Sgt Johnson went off when the Stryker armoured vehicle he was travelling in went through a dip in the road and  blew a hole in the bottom of the vehicle beneath where Sergeant Johnson was standing and he took the full force of the blast, while four other soldiers were also injured.

Prosecutor Hill added that the safely detonated device caused a “massive explosion” and a cloud of about 150 feet, the court heard. Sardar denies murder, conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion. He is being treated as a suspected terrorist, and more of this case will become clear as the case progresses.

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