The BBC report that an Algerian, Abbas Boutrab, arrested in Belfast in April 2003, has been convicted at Belfast Crown Court of possessing and collecting information “for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism”. The 27 year old had been charged under three aliases. When arrested a number of false identities and passports where found which he had claimed were “used simply to facilitate his drifter lifestyle throughout Europe” As David Sharrock reported in the Times, among “items recovered from Mr Boutrab’s flat were a circuit board, a stethoscope, grinding tools, various clamps, grips and spreaders. A stolen Nokia pay-as-you-go phone was also found that had received calls from London.” Update Channel4 News has an excellent video report here[wmv file 11Mb]David Sharrock also reported that –
He [Abbas Boutrab] had applied for asylum in the Netherlands in the 1990s using the name Brahmin Abaoui. In 2001 he had applied for asylum in the Republic of Ireland with the name Yocef Djafari. In May 2002, after a road accident in the Republic, he had given police a Dutch passport in the name of Abbas Fawwas. In July that year he had applied for asylum in Northern Ireland.
At his initial arrest and interview by immigration officers in Belfast in April 2003, he had claimed to have entered Northern Ireland by train from the Irish Republic, having previously travelled from Algeria through Morocco and without being interviewed by border officials at Dublin airport.