British judge names Pakistan as airline bomb terrorists get life

September 14th, 2009 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 14 (IANS) Naming Pakistan as the country from where they were “controlled”, a British judge Monday sent three men to jail for life for plotting conspiracy to blow up liquid bombs on flights from Britain to North America.
Ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, was jailed for at least 40 years, plot “quartermaster” Assad Sarwar, 29, for at least 36 years and Tanvir Hussain, 28, for at least 32 years.

“You have embraced Islamic extremism and it is that burning extremism that has motivated you throughout this conspiracy and is likely to drive you again,” judge Richard Henriques told the three men at Woolwich Crown Court in London.

E-mails submitted as evidence in the trial had shown that “the ultimate control of this conspiracy lay in Pakistan”, the judge said.

Their aim was a terrorist outrage to “stand alongside” the 9/11 attacks in history, Henriques said, calling the plot “the most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction”.

The trial heard that at the time of his arrest, Ahmed Ali, of Walthamstow, east London, had identified seven US and Canada-bound flights that were to be attacked within a two-and-a-half-hour period.

“I’m satisfied that there is every likelihood that this plot would have succeeded but for the intervention of the police and the security service,” the judge said.

“Had this conspiracy not been interrupted, 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 judge said that the plot had “reached an advanced stage in its development”, with the men in possession of enough chemicals to produce 20 detonators aimed at blowing up flights from Heathrow airport to San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal.

The men’s arrests in August 2006 caused chaos to the global aviation industry and led to a strict security check regime - with a 100 ml limit on the amount of liquids passengers can carry - that continues to this day.

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