A BLACKBURN car dealer has admitted being involved in an Al Qaeda terrorist bomb plot.

Junade Feroze, 31, of Malham Gardens, Blackburn, was one of four men who pleaded guilty to plotting against the UK and the United States.

The men admitted conspiracy to cause explosions together with convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot and others unknown between February 19, 2001, and August 4, 2004.

Community leaders spoke of their shock at his guilt and police insisted that everyone needed to remain vigilant about the terrorism threat in our communities.

Feroze worked buying and selling cars at Lower Audley Tyre Centre, at the junction of Copperfield Street and Bennington Street, which is owned by his brother.

He was arrested in August 2004 when his gold Mercedes was swooped on by armed undercover officers from the Metropolitan Police in Preston Old Road, Cherry Tree.

After Feroze pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday, Coun Yusuf Jan-Virmani, who represents Audley, said: "I knew his dad and his brother, and I am very surprised by this as he was brought up here in Blackburn.

"I would not have thought that he would have done something like this, but that is the problem with youngsters now.

"This is very sad for Blackburn and bad news for the town we just need to work hard against this."

Coun Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: "You never know what is going on inside someone's mind.

"He came across completely differently to members of the community, but then you never know what someone's intentions are.

"Reality is reality, if he's pleaded guilty then he must be guilty."

Chief Superintendent David Mallaby said: "We all need to remain vigilant as terrorism can affect all our communities.

"Our highest priority is keeping everyone safe and we will do our utmost to help the public recognise signs of suspicious behaviour so that they in turn can help defeat terrorism.

"The trust which has developed between the police and members of the community is something we should all be proud of.

"In high profile operations such as this, it is inevitable that arrests will be made and sometimes people will be released without charge.

"Whilst I recognise there are concerns surrounding this, I do not agree that it has damaged community relations and in fact I feel it strengthened the relation ships which already exist between the police and our local communities."

Coun Arshid Mahmood, who represents Corporation Park ward, said he thought that most of the Muslim population in Blackburn woud be "shocked at anything which is connected to terrorist activity."

He said: "We can never be too careful about what goes on around us, especially in the conditions we find ourselves in today."

Community leaders and priests, in mosques across Blackburn, had spoken out against younger people inciting tensions, since the arrests were made, said Coun Mahmood.

Feroze pleaded guilty along with Omar Abdul Rehman, 23, of Bushey, Hertforshire, Mohammed Zia Ul Taq, 28, of Paddington, west London, Abdul Aziz Jalil, 33, of Luton.

Barot, 32, from Willesden, north London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder in relation to the alleged plot last year.

Two further men Nadeem Tarmohammed, 28, of Willesden, and Quaisar Shaffi, 28, also of Willesden are due back in court on Monday.

Shaffi denies the charge of conspiracy to cause explosions while Tarmohammed has yet to enter a plea.

Last week another co-defendant Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, 27, admitted the same charge at Woolwich Crown Court.

The group are expected to be sentenced in June.

Canon Simon Bessant, director of missions at the Blackburn Diocese of the Church of England, said: "It is important we get across the message that the majority of Asian-heritage people live honourable, respectable lives and what has happened in this case should not change anyone's minds."

Coun Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "There is no role for extremism of any kind in a modern and civilised society."

Leader of the House of Commons and Blackburn MP, Jack Straw, declined to comment until the case was concluded.

A spokesman for Lower Audley Tyre Centre also declined to comment when told of the news.