Trio to be sentenced for airliner bombs plot

Three Islamic extremists will be sentenced today for a suicide bomb plot designed to kill thousands of passengers on transatlantic airliners.

The al-Qaida-inspired terror cell planned to detonate home-made liquid bombs on board flights bound for major North American cities.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain were found guilty of conspiracy to murder on a mass scale by detonating the bombs on airliners following the largest ever counter-terrorism operation in the UK.

If the plot had been successful, the explosions could have exceeded the carnage of the September 11 attacks.

Ali, 28, of Walthamstow, east London, Sarwar 29, of Walton Drive, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Hussain, 28, of Nottingham Road, Leyton, east London, will be sentenced later today for conspiracy to murder on an airliner.

The jury of nine women and three men failed to reach a verdict on a fourth man, Umar Islam, in connection with the airliner plot.

Today, Richard Whittam, prosecuting, said the Crown was not seeking a retrial of Islam, 31, of Bushey Road, Plaistow, east London, and the charge will be left to lie on file.

Islam was convicted of conspiracy to murder last week and will be sentenced later today.

Three others – Ibrahim Savant, 28, of Denver Road, Stoke Newington, north London, Arafat Waheed Khan, 28, of Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow, and Waheed Zaman, 25, of Queen’s Road, Walthamstow – were found not guilty of the airliner plot and the jury failed to reach verdicts on charges of conspiracy to murder.

The British Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, announced last Friday that he would seek a retrial on this charge.

The judge, Mr Justice Henriques, adjourned their cases until October 5 and removed the three defendants from the dock.

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