'Convert' in bus bomb scare

A MAN who claimed to be a Muslim convert caused panic when he left a hoax bomb on a South Yorkshire bus.

Leeds Crown Court heard Nicolas Roddis, aged 22, had developed a close interest in "radical and extremist Islamic violence", a court heard.

He left the device in a bag after he boarded the bus in Rotherham wearing a false beard and other disguises.

Police later found railway detonators, articles on bomb making and extremist literature in Roddis's lodgings.

Edward Brown QC , prosecuting, said Roddis had also shown work colleagues video clips of hostages in Iraq being beheaded and soldiers being caught in bomb attacks.

He had a poster on his wall of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the al Qaida leader killed in Iraq.

Roddis, of Reedham Drive, Rotherham, claimed he was a Muslim convert.

He denies one charge of placing a hoax bomb on a bus, one of engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism, six counts of possessing an article for terrorism purposes and three of collecting information for terrorist purposes.

Mr Brown said Roddis left the package on the Maltby to Rotherham bus when he got off in Herringthorpe on May 8 last year. It was found by passengers.

The bus and neighbouring houses were evacuated and an Army bomb disposal team blew up the package.

The prosecutor said a note in badly written Arabic was found which said : "There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest. Allah the Greatest."

The note went on to say "Britain must be punished" and was signed "The al Qaida organisation in Iraq". Mr Brown said Roddis was arrested two months later.

The court heard he had shown a former colleague from a Sheffield loans company a box of bullets and a bag containing what he said was a landmine. When Roddis went for a job interview at the building where he used to work, his former manager was so concerned when he saw him with a bag he called the police.

Officers searched his room and found railway detonators, acetone, hydrogen peroxide, nails and a false beard.

The case continues.


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