Airport explosion plot was ‘publicity stunt’

A BRITISH Muslim man accused of leading a transatlantic airline bomb plot admitted yesterday that he planned to explode a device at a British airport terminal.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, aged 27, said plans to attack the Houses of Parliament were dropped in favour of an airport because “security was not so tight”.

He told Woolwich Crown Court he was interested in Heathrow Terminal 3 because it was used by several American airline carriers.

Ali said the plan allowed them to “direct action more towards America” and would gain “a lot of attention”. The explosion was a “publicity stunt” to attract attention to an online documentary attacking British and US foreign policy.

But he denied that the gang planned to attack aircraft with the home-made bombs constructed using instructions from the internet.

“That was never our intention. When we thought about the airport it was the terminal and more specific American offices. We were trying to create a disturbance not kill anyone.”

Ali is accused alongside seven other men of conspiracy to murder in attacks on transatlantic airliners. Prosecutors said the men planned to smuggle liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks aboard and detonate them. All eight deny the charges.

Ali said he approached trusted friends to help make the propaganda film.

Among those brought into the plan were fellow charity volunteer Assad Sarwar and close friend Tanvir Hussain. Ali said he directed the films which were scripted and based on al Qaida militant videos. Jurors have seen apparent martyrdom videos in which six of the men, including Ali, threaten attacks on the West.


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