British court convicts three men linked to jet bomb plot

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A British court Thursday convicted three men of conspiracy to murder in a case linked to a 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic jet planes, prosecutors said.

Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman, all from London, were found guilty by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court in the capital and could face life imprisonment.

They were last year tried in connection with a 2006 plot to blow up seven transatlantic planes flying from Britain to North America using liquid explosives.

The discovery of the plot led to strict new rules about carrying liquids on commercial flights.

The three were cleared of specifically targeting airlines but prosecutors put them on trial again on charges of unspecified conspiracy to murder, based on "martyrdom videos" they recorded threatening attacks on western targets.

"Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman were actively working alongside other men on a plot to cause death and injury on a massive scale," said Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"They were cleared in the previous trial of being aware of the ultimate targets of the plot, but we say that they were committed to the principle and practice of violent jihad to the point of targeting innocent people in an attempt to further their cause."

A total of 12 people have now been convicted in relation to the liquid bomb plot, including ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali, who was sentenced last September to a minimum of 40 years in jail.

The plan was to smuggle explosives made of hydrogen peroxide onto the planes in soft drink bottles. Refilled batteries would carry the chemical detonator, with the bombs set off using a charge from a light bulb filament.

They would have been assembled and detonated in mid-air by a team of suicide bombers, causing untold damage, prosecutors said.

© 2010 AFP

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