updated 9/24/2008 7:20:04 PM ET 2008-09-24T23:20:04

A man accused of being an al-Qaida member had a book filled with terrorist contact information written in invisible ink, a British prosecutor said Wednesday.

Rangzieb Ahmed, 33, is charged along 28-year-old Habib Ahmed with being members of al-Qaida. The men, who are not related, deny the charges.

"The prosecution say that the book contains information of considerable importance to a terrorist because it has information that enables them to contact each other secretly and has some important phone numbers for terrorists — a contact book for terrorists," Andrew Edis told a court in the northern English city of Manchester.

In his opening remarks, Edis told the jury that the book was one of a number that Habib Ahmed brought from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Rangzieb Ahmed was traveling "on important al-Qaida business."

"They contain information in invisible ink. Who would write phone numbers on a book in invisible ink?" Edis said.

Men secretly tracked
Edis said the two suspects had been spied upon while in Dubai, where they were overheard in late 2005 by a listening device planted in a hotel bedroom. He said the pair flew from Dubai to Britain separately, and it was at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport that Rangzieb Ahmed's book, carried in Habib Ahmed's luggage, was discovered.

The monitoring continued in Britain — Edis said the pair were captured speaking together in a car in Manchester, where Habib Ahmed worked as a taxi driver.

It was not until August 2006 that Habib Ahmed was arrested and the contact book was recovered. By that time, Edis alleged, the suspect had taken a trip to Pakistan to attend a terrorist training camp. Habib Ahmed denies the charge.

Rangzieb Ahmed was arrested in August 2006 in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province. He spent more than a year in Pakistan before eventually being flown back to Britain. The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says he was tortured while in custody.

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