Nottingham

Asda worker Ryan Counsell denies terrorism charges

Ryan Counsell
Image caption Ryan Counsell worked on the checkouts at an Asda store in Nottingham

A supermarket worker from Nottingham has denied booking a flight to the Philippines to join a terrorist group.

Ryan Counsell, a Muslim convert, has gone on trial accused of four terrorism charges, including possession of an al-Qaeda bomb-making guide.

Woolwich Crown Court heard the 28-year-old, who worked on the tills at Hyson Green Asda, bought clothing designed to protect against knives and shrapnel from explosions.

Mr Counsell denies all the charges.

The court was told he searched online for "cheap flights Nottingham to Zamboanga", a city in the Philippines where a jihadi group is based.

The married father-of-one eventually booked a ticket from Heathrow and was due to fly out for two days after his arrest last July.

'Travelling for aid work'

Some of the military equipment and clothing, which also included magazine pouches, was found in a suitcase in his young child's bedroom, the court heard.

Propaganda videos by so-called Islamic State, which were found at his home on Russell Road, Nottingham, were shown to the jury.

Image caption Mr Counsell told police he was travelling to carry out aid work

Three of the four charges relate to possessing documents containing terrorist information.

He told police he downloaded the documents for academic research, so he could counter extremism.

The military equipment was for "Airsoft", a game similar to paintballing, and he was travelling to the Philippines for aid work, he claimed.

The trial, which is due to last three weeks, continues.

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