A BLACKBURN car dealer became one of the most trusted members' of an Al-Qaeda cell which plotted to kill thousands of people, a court heard.

Junade Feroze, 31, and the rest of the group were only weeks away from trying to emulate the 9/11 and Madrid bombings with attacks in the UK and America, a jury was told.

At one stage the targets included the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings in Washington, the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup building in New York and the Prudential building in Newark, the court heard.

They were led by convicted Al Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot, 34, and Feroze, of Malham Gardens, Black-burn, became his chauffeur and lookout, the court heard.

He was seen using anti-surveillance techniques in both London and Lanc- ashire, sending coded email messages, and sometimes kept watch as Barot held his meetings, the jury heard.

The court was told that police also found an electronic catalogue, a visa application for Pakistan with details from a false passport used by Barot at Feroze's home.

Barot has already admitted conspiracy murder and Feroze and five other men from the south of England have admitted conspiracy to cause explosions with him and others between February 19, 2001, and August 4, 2004.

An eighth British Muslim, Quaisar Shaffi, 28, from Willesden, northwest London, is now standing trial at Woolwich Crown Court after denying being part of the conspiracy.

Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the jury: "His (Feroze) attendance at talks by radical Islamic clerics and possession of extreme material demonstrates that he shares Barot's ideology and believes that acts of terrorism are justified in the achieving of their objectives."

Feroze travelled frequently to London and the home of co-defendant Abdul Aziz Jalil, 34, in Luton to visit Barot and also acted as his chauffeur, becoming one of his most trusted associates, the court was told.

On one occasion Feroze and Jalil were seen travelling hundreds of miles to Swansea to use an internet café to send a coded message before returning to London, the court was told.

Feroze's family also owned a garage in Blackburn which would have given him the means to dispose of cars and get hold of tyres and gas canisters to use in the attacks, the jury heard.

He 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.

The court was told how Barot had drawn up a series of 'business proposals' including using a dirty bomb to spread deadly radiation and the destruction of iconic landmark buildings.

The prosecutor told jurors Barot, from Kingsbury, London, was the 'central figure' in the conspiracy and a 'full-time terrorist.' He added: "The attacks were first to be carried out in America on buildings in New York, Newark and Washington.

"These were then refined and developed into plans for a series of attacks to be carried out on buildings in London and on the transport systems around the capital.

"Barot's principal objective in the planning of these massive explosive attacks was to kill hundreds if not thousands of innocent people without warning.

"Barot boasted in his plans how he wanted to create 'another memorable black day for the enemies of Islam and victory for the Muslims' in relation to 9/11 and emulating 'the respectable project that took place in Madrid."

Barot had completed his UK plans in around March 2004 and travelled to Pakistan the next month to present his proposals to the Al Qaeda leadership for support and funding, it is claimed.

The behaviour of Barot and various of his co-conspirators as witnessed by the Security Service and the police during the summer of 2004 suggested that they were not far off having reached that point, the court was told Mr Laidlow added: "There was perhaps weeks or months to go."

Jurors heard the seven members of the support team did not produce the plans themselves but were 'sub-contracted' to carry out essential tasks.

It is claimed his squad helped Barot carry out detailed reconnaissance of potential targets, locating means of gaining access and the best way to destroy the building.

Barot also needed help with accommodation, false identities, access to money and storage places, and the assistance of minders, errand runners and drivers, the court heard.