UK: Three trans-Atlantic bomb plotters sentenced to life

UK: Three trans-Atlantic bomb plotters sentenced to life

Three British Muslims were sentenced on Monday to life in jail for plotting to blow up transatlantic airliners with liquid bombs in Al-Qaeda-inspired suicide attacks on the scale of September 11.

Judge Richard Henriques said the plot was "the most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction", as he passed sentence at the top-security Woolwich Crown Court.

"The intention was to perpetrate a terrorist outrage that would stand alongside the events of September 11, 2001 in history," he said.

The plot, foiled in August 2006, triggered the wide-ranging rules now in place on carrying liquids aboard commercial aircraft.

Ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 40-year term.

The plot's "chemist and quartermaster" Assad Sarwar, 29, must spend a minimum of 36 years behind bars, while fellow plotter Tanvir Hussain, 28, Ali's right-hand man, must serve at least 32 years.

The counter-terrorism operation to foil the London-based plot was the biggest ever in Britain, costing 35 million pounds.

Henriques said: "There is every likelihood that this plot would have succeeded but for the intervention of the police and the security service.

"A massive loss of life would almost certainly have resulted -- and if the detonation was over land, the number of victims would have been even greater still."

The plotters targeted seven flights from London's Heathrow airport to New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal.

The flights, operated by United Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada, would have been mid-air simultaneously, prosecutors said.

Some of the men recorded so-called martyrdom videos featuring threats to the West of waves of terrorist attacks.

"This was a viable and meticulously planned conspiracy and I conclude it was imminent," Henriques said.

The plot was "an act of revenge inspired by extremist Islamic thinking", aimed at the "governments of several allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan", he added.


Source: AFP

No comments: