Dhiren Barot's mugshot
Abu Musa al-Hindi
Abu Eissa al-Hindi
1 December 1971 |
Barot was born in Baroda, India, into a Hindu family. His parents moved to the UK from Kenya in 1973 to escape violence and discrimination, when he was only one year old. In the UK, his father, a banker in Kenya, supported his family by working in a factory.
Barot converted to Islam at age 20 in the UK. He attended the Kingsbury High School in north London. He worked for a living on a regular basis only during 1991 to 1995 as an airline ticket and reservations agent for Air Malta, in Piccadilly, central London. It is unclear how he supported himself at other times.
Barot travelled to Pakistan in 1995. He took part in militant campaigns against Indian forces in Kashmir. Using the pseudonym Esa Al Hindi, he wrote a book, The Army of Madinah in Kashmir, in 1999, discussing his experience and describing ways to kill Indian soldiers. The book was commissioned and published by Maktabah al-Ansar, a bookstore co-owned by Moazzam Begg. In the late 1990s and early 2000, he served as an agent for al-Qaeda.
Barot is credited with authoring a 39-page memo that advocated the use of simple explosives composed of materials available from local pharmacies and hardware stores. The memo was created for distribution among al-Qaeda operatives and was discovered in 2004 on a laptop in Pakistan. He reportedly learned the tactics from observations at al-Qaeda training camps.
He arrived in USA in August 2000 on a student visa along with Nadeem Tarmohamed; however, he never attended any college in the USA. It was during this time that Barot began to do extensive reconnaissance of American targets for al-Qaeda. In a Pakistan arrest of Al-Qaeda operatives agents found some 51 compact discs, dating from 2001, of reports and targeting research allegedly compiled by Barot. On 8 April 2001 Barot returned to the UK.
Barot was arrested on 3 August 2004. He was charged by the UK authorities with the following offences:
- Conspiracy to commit murder.
- Conspiracy to commit a public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and or explosives.
- Possessing detailed reconnaissance on the Prudential Building in New Jersey.
- Possessing detailed reconnaissance of the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and Citigroup in New York, and two notebooks with information on explosives.
Barot admitted to plotting to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund headquarters, and the World Bank, among other targets. In April 2007 it was revealed that he planned to use limousines packed with explosives and radioactive "dirty" bombs for the attacks.
His co-accused conspirators were: Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, 24; Abdul Aziz Jalil, 31; Omar Abdul Rehman, 20; Junade Feroze, 28; Zia ul Haq, 25; Qaisar Shaffi, 25; and Nadeem Tarmohammed, 26; all Britons of Pakistani origin, most of Mirpuri descent.
Much of the information about Barot's role in the planning of further al-Qaeda attacks came from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a prominent al-Qaeda operative captured by the Pakistani ISI. A witness stated that he attended Camp Hudaybiyah, run by the Jemaah Islamiyah group, where he was instructed in small arms training, mortars, basic explosives handling, navigation and jungle patrolling.
The prosecution did not dispute claims from the defence that no funding had been received for the projects, nor any vehicles or bomb-making materials acquired. Nevertheless, it was recognised that it was his intention that hundreds, if not thousands of people should die. 
On 7 November 2006, Barot was sentenced to life imprisonment, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder; it was recommended that he serve a minimum of 40 years.
In May 2007 his sentence was reduced to 30 years. The Court of Appeal, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips, said that the 40-year sentence was for a terrorist who planned murder by "viable" means. It was also stated that Barot's plot did not amount to an actual attempt and it was uncertain whether it would have succeeded and what the consequences might have been. The Court of Appeal did note that Barot's "businesslike" plans would have caused carnage on a "colossal and unprecedented scale" if they had been successful.
In July 2007 Barot was admitted to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for five days after being badly injured by fellow inmates at HMP Frankland. For security reasons a news blackout of the incident was imposed while he was receiving treatment. It was later reported that Barot was treated for burns after two attacks. In the first attack boiling water was poured on to his back and a fight ensued, in the second attack another prisoner poured boiling oil over his head. Such attacks are called 'juggings'.
- Adam Fresco (7 November 2006). "How radical Islam turned a schoolboy into a terrorist". The Times. London. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
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- Air Malta confirms Al-Qaeda terrorist was a former employee. Retrieved 20 November 2006.[dead link]
- Bookshop's messages of racist hate, The Observer, 4 February 2007
- Al Hindi, Isa (2000). The Army of Madinah in Kashmir. Maktabah al-Ansar. ISBN 0-9539847-0-2.
- Rajghatta, C.(2004). "Dhiren Barot: India-born jihadi in 9/11 net". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- Craig Whitlock (5 July 2007). "Homemade, Cheap and Dangerous: Terror Cells Favor Simple Ingredients In Building Bombs". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved 26 August 2007.
- Bill West. "Immigration Fraud and Terror?Yet Again".
- Guy Martin (2007). "Al Qaeda's New York". New York. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
- David N Kelley (2007). "USA v. Dhrien Barot" (PDF). The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 August 2007. "On or about April 8, 2001, DHIREN BAROT and NADEEM TARMOHAMED, the defendants, departed the United States on the same flight to the United Kingdom.
(Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332a(a)(2),)"
- Raman, B. (2004). "Al Qaeda: The New Web". South Asia Analysis Group. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
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- "'Dirty bomb' man's sentence cut". BBC News. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
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- "Al Qaeda mastermind attacked with boiling oil in North-East jail". The Northern Echo. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
- James, Erwin (26 July 2007). "There's no justice in a 'jugging'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2007.