Airline bomb plot ringleader gets 40 years in UK

A British judge on Monday sentenced the ringleader of a plot to bring down trans-Atlantic planes with liquid explosives to at least 40 years in jail and three fellow British Muslims to long prison sentences. The sentences for the planned suicide bombings were among the longest ever handed out by a British court in a terrorism case.

Ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, was given a minimum sentence of 40 years for plotting the biggest terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001. Assad Sarwar, 29, was ordered to serve at least 36 years in prison and Tanvir Hussain, 28, was sentenced at least 32 years. A fourth man, Umar Islam, 31, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and received a minimum of 22 years. Jurors were unable to decide in his case whether he intended to target aircraft in the plot.

The men had planned to smuggle explosives aboard the planes disguised as soft drinks and detonate them while flying. Prosecutors said they were likely just days away from mounting their suicide attacks when they were arrested in August 2006.

Three terrorists found guilty of transatlantic jet bombing plot

A court found three men guilty Monday of plotting to blow up at least seven transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives, in what would have been a “terrorist event of global proportions”. Ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali was found guilty of conspiring to murder thousands in the plot, whose discovery in 2006 triggered wide-ranging new rules on carrying liquids on commercial aircraft. Tanvir Hussain, 28, and Assad Sarwar, 29, were found guilty on the same charges of plotting to carry out bombings on aircraft flying from London’s Heathrow airport to the United States and Canada. “This was a calculated and sophisticated plot to create a terrorist event of global proportions,” the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said after the verdict. The trio were previously found guilty of conspiracy to murder, but the jury in their first trial could not decide on charges that they had plotted to kill people by bringing down airliners.

U.K. Prosecutors to Retry 7 Men for Airline Bomb Plot (Update2)

U.K. prosecutors will retry seven British Muslims who they claim conspired to blow up several passenger planes bound for North America from London after a jury days ago failed to reach a verdict.

The men will be retried for conspiring to kill passengers by detonating homemade liquid-based bombs on trans-Atlantic flights, Ken Macdonald, the U.K.’s head prosecutor said today in an e- mailed statement. The arrests in 2006 caused airport chaos with about 2,400 flights canceled in London alone. The investigation led to airport restrictions on more than small amounts of fluids in hand luggage that remain in effect around the world. The London jury on Sept. 8, after a five-month trial, was unable to decide whether the men were guilty of plotting to blow up aircraft. The panel convicted Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain on charges of conspiracy to murder not specifically related to the plot to bomb jets bound for the U.S. and Canada. The three men convicted, along with Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam, will again face charges of trying to bomb flights. Savant, Khan, Zaman and Islam will also be retried on the same general conspiracy to the murder charges of which Ali, Sarwar and Hussain were found guilty. The panel cleared an eighth defendant in the case of all charges. Defense lawyers at Tuckers and Arani & Co, who have been acting on the case, didn’t return messages seeking comment. James Lumley reports.

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UK terror suspect says bomb plans were stunt

A man has denied leading a plot to cause mass murder by blowing planes out of the sky with the excuse that he had meant instead to explode small devices inside the Houses of Parliament as part of a publicity stunt. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, said that suicide videos which the prosecution claims prove a plot to bomb seven planes flying to North America were in fact made as part of a “propaganda” documentary planned for release after the small explosions in Westminster. He told a jury at Woolwich crown court that the “documentary” would be released on YouTube and was intended to expose the effects of British foreign policy. Ali is one of eight men standing trial after their alleged plot was disrupted in August 2006. They all deny conspiracy to murder and to endanger aircraft. In April, while opening its case, the crown played videos of Ali found after he was arrested in which he warned of “body parts… decorating the streets” if Muslims were not left alone. He is seen speaking against the backdrop of a black flag with Arabic writing on it. Ali said the root cause of the suffering was British and American foreign policy prompting him and co-accused, Assad Sarwar, to come up with the idea of setting off explosions in Britain to change things.http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=82FE24E162F2D1829152D362&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News

Suspect ‘vowed lesson for West’

The suspected leader of an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic planes mid-air promised to teach the West a “lesson they will never forget”, a court heard. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, made the vow during the 16-minute “martyrdom” video played at Woolwich Crown Court. Prosecutors say eight men planned to kill thousands by detonating home-made bombs, disguised as soft drinks, aboard flights to North America. All deny conspiring to murder and endangering planes in 2006. ‘Time has come’ Jurors were shown footage of what prosecutors said was Mr Ali wearing a black and white headscarf, against a backdrop of a black flag covered with Arabic writing. In the video, he said: “This the opportunity to punish and humiliate the kuffar [unbelievers], to teach them a lesson they will never forget.