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Three convicted of liquid bomb plot
Terror gang ringleader Abdulla Ahmed Ali has been convicted of conspiring to murder thousands in an unprecedented airline bomb plot
Islamic extremist Abdulla Ahmed Ali has been found guilty of conspiring to murder thousands in an unprecedented airline bomb plot.
The 28-year-old from Walthamstow was the leader of an east London al Qaida-inspired terror cell, a Woolwich Crown Court jury found.
He was convicted, with two other men, of planning to detonate home-made liquid bombs in suicide attacks on transatlantic aircraft bound for major north American cities.
Ali was responsible for the most complex and daring British-based terrorist conspiracy in modern times. With thousands killed in the air and on the ground, the explosions would have exceeded the carnage of the September 11 attacks. Counter terrorist police, the security services and prosecutors spent more than £35 million foiling the plot and bringing Ali to justice.
Assad Sarwar 29, of High Wycombe, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, of Leyton, were also found guilty of involvement in the airline bomb plot. All will be sentenced on Monday.
The arrest of the gang in August 2006 sparked tight restrictions on carrying liquids on to aircraft which led to travel chaos.
Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division, said: "These men wanted to bring down several aircraft in a short space of time, indiscriminately killing hundreds of innocent people - perhaps more if they had succeeded in activating their devices while over cities.
"This was a calculated and sophisticated plot to create a terrorist event of global proportions and the jury concluded that Ali, Sarwar and Hussain knew what the target was."
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "I am pleased that the jury has recognised that there was a plot to bomb transatlantic flights and that three people have been convicted of that plot. This case reaffirms that we face a real and serious threat from terrorism.
"This was a particularly complex and daring plot which would have led to a terrible attack resulting in major loss of life. This was the largest ever counter-terrorism operation in the UK and I cannot thank enough those involved for their professionalism and dedication in thwarting this attack and saving thousands of lives."