‘Terrorists planned to blow up seven planes’

April 4th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by admin  


London, April 4 (IANS) A group of British Muslims planned to detonate bombs aboard at least seven flights from London across the Atlantic to cause deaths on an almost unprecedented scale, a court has heard. The eight men planned to smuggle in homemade devices and detonate them mid-flight - “all in the name of Islam” - prosecutors told the Woolwich Crown Court Thursday.

It was after their arrests in August 2006 that passengers were banned from carrying most liquids on board aircraft.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: “These men were indifferent to the carnage that was likely to ensue. Some of the men you see in the dock are those who were prepared to sacrifice their own lives.”

The men were named as Abdul Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar, Tanvir Hussain, Mohammed Gulzar, Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam.

“They were prepared to board an aircraft with the necessary ingredients and equipment to construct and detonate a device that would bring about not only the loss of their own lives but also all of those who happened by chance to be taking the same journey,” he added.

He said from what police had observed, “it was realised that these men, together with others, were engaged in some sort of terrorist plot”.

The jury heard the information focussed on only one-way flights leaving Heathrow between August 2006 and August 2007.

The seven daily flights they targeted were: United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco; Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto; Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal; United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago; United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington; American Airlines Flight 131 to New York; and American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago.

Wright said there was evidence that the men planned to bring down more planes than just those seven.

The eight men deny conspiring to murder others and endangering aircraft bound for the US and Canada in 2006.

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