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Blackburn terror suspect 'dressed up to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger'
A TERROR suspect said he wore camouflage face paint and bought a machete to copy Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ilyas Iqbal said he spent hours poring over war and action films including Predator, Rambo and Blackhawk Down to learn about weapons he would then research and collect, Manchester Crown Court.
Ilyas, 23, faces charges of preparing for terrorist activity alongside his brother Abbas Iqbal, 24, and Muhammed Ali-Ahmad, 26, of Whalley Range, Blackburn. They all deny the charges.
The court heard that Ilyas, of Percival Street, told police officers after his arrest that he made posts called Urban Combat and attack planning because he was a 'military enthusiast'.
He said to officers: “I want to tell you guys exactly what's what so you guys can understand this is nothing to do with terrorism.
“I absolutely love everything military. I love Humvee. I love tanks. I love Apache attack helicopters. I most love the American military style and the uniforms they wear. I love them night goggles. I love Russian guns.
“Since I was a kid other kids in my area used to come to my house to play with my guns.”
Ilyas said he would have joined the military or the police force but could not because of his Muslim religious beliefs and wanting to keep his beard.
He told officers he would use a book, the New Weapons of the World Encyclopaedia, to look up weapons he saw in films and on TV.
He said: “I've been drooling over the book cos I know it has got the latest weapons, it shows weapons from the Stone Age and carries on going, going, going. Documentaries abo-ut battle tactics and special forces just blew my socks off”.
The court heard he would watch films and make notes while working at a security lodge of Express Gifts in Accrington.
After watching the film Predator he said he had to have a machete like the one used by Schwarzenegger.
He said: “There is one in there, a Linton, it’s an American special forces machete, so sharp.
“When I was seeing how sharp it was, I was almost went through my damn finger.”
He also bought camouflage paint to look like the movie star.