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Russian-speaking man accused of ‘hostile reconnaissance’ for TV station terror assault informed police he was sightseeing in London | UK Information

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A Russian-speaking man accused of conducting hostile reconnaissance for a terrorist assault on a dissident Iranian TV station in West London informed police he was on a weekend sightseeing go to within the capital, a court docket has heard.

Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev, 31, arrived at Gatwick from Vienna on the morning of 11 February this 12 months and caught a taxi straight to Chiswick Enterprise Park, paying in money, the {Old} Bailey was informed.

His go to was mentioned to be the latest in a sequence of at the very least three such visits by “others unknown”, starting in the summertime of 2022, following threats from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.

CCTV confirmed Dovtaev – a Chechen-born Austrian nationwide – as he walked nonchalantly round Constructing 11 within the enterprise park the place the Iran Worldwide tv station was then housed on the primary flooring, apparently taking video footage on his cell phone.

When his journey was noticed by safety guards, he informed them that he was planning to see his brother however needed to see the “lovely” space and have a espresso.

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Nonetheless, one of many safety guards realised that he was talking on his Apple Airpod earphones and insulting them in Russian, calling them “motherf******” and “b******”.

They directed him to a Starbucks on the property and referred to as in armed police who arrested him as he sat at a desk within the espresso store, shortly earlier than 11am.

Learn extra:
Man ‘spied on Iran International to help terror plotters’

Chiswick Enterprise Park

Accused was ‘calm’ when armed police confronted him

Nick de la Poer KC, prosecuting, mentioned Dovtaev “remained noticeably calm” and his response “was not of an individual who was alarmed or stunned about the truth that he was being detained below the Terrorism Act by quite a lot of armed and unarmed cops”.

After he was handcuffed, Dovtaev informed police he was ready for his buddy “Usman” who he knew from Chechnya however had not seen for 3 years.

He informed cops that he was planning to return to Austria the subsequent day however had not booked his return ticket.

Later, on the police station, Dovtaev elaborated, telling police that he was a household man who labored in IT in Austria and was paying a weekend go to to “see a buddy and tour central London.”

In an announcement handed to officers, he mentioned he had gone to Chiswick Enterprise Park to be able to meet the buddy and had taken a 25-second video to be able to present his kids the lake on the enterprise park.

‘Deliberate untruths’ have been ‘to hide hostile reconnaissance’

Mr de la Poer informed the court docket: “The prosecution’s case is that this and the whole lot the defendant informed the safety guards and the cops on the scene have been deliberate untruths.”

Dovtaev is now mentioned to have give you one other model, saying that he went to the enterprise park as a result of he was investigating whether or not fraudsters, who had defrauded him and his father out of enormous quantities of cash, have been working from Constructing 11.

“The prosecution’s response will probably be that it’s one other dishonest try by the defendant to clarify his curiosity in Constructing 11,” Mr de la Poer added.

The prosecutor informed the jury: “The prosecution’s case is that he was not there to fulfill a buddy, to have a look at the surroundings or to have a espresso.

“The prosecution’s case is that he was finishing up hostile reconnaissance on Constructing 11.

“That’s to say, he had travelled to the UK for the aim of recording the safety preparations on the Chiswick Enterprise Park so that any vulnerabilities might be recognized and exploited.”

The jury was informed that the TV station he was observing had attracted controversy in Iran after reporting on protests by girls following the loss of life in detention of Mahsa Amini final autumn.

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Woman holds a sign that reads in Spanish "Justice for Mahsa Amini",an Iranian woman who died while in police custody in Iran,Sept. 27, 2022. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

Iran Worldwide journalists ‘needed’ by Tehran

Iran Worldwide – a Persian language information broadcasting service – “repeatedly reviews on the Iranian authorities in a manner that it’s extremely essential, together with in relation to alleged human rights violations,” Mr de la Poer informed the court docket.

Following the channel’s reporting of the protests round Ms Amini’s loss of life, in November 2022 Iran’s Minister of Intelligence declared the TV station to be a terrorist organisation.

Iran’s state media subsequently reported that those that labored for Iran Worldwide have been “needed” by the Ministry of Intelligence.

Iran International TV
The Iran Worldwide TV station is essential of the nation’s regime

Mr de la Poer added: “Because of the Iranian authorities’ angle in the direction of Iran Worldwide, the organisation and its workers all turned targets for violent reprisals.

“As such, the safety at their administrative center was of very actual and sensible curiosity to those that would possibly want to perform such reprisals, whether or not that was to assault the constructing itself or the workers.”

The prosecution didn’t counsel that Dovtaev deliberate to hold out such an assault and even that he knew something about what was deliberate by others.

Nonetheless, Mr de la Poer informed the jury: “The defendant, little question performing on the directions of others, went to the Chiswick Enterprise Park for the aim of gathering details about the safety preparations round Iran Worldwide.

“The actual fact that the defendant went to gather this data for individuals who needed to know concerning the safety preparations round Iran Worldwide demonstrates that planning by others was already below manner.”

Dovtaev denies a single cost of making an attempt to gather data helpful for terrorism and the trial continues.

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