Airline bomb plotter jailed for life

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The Independent Online

A Muslim man was jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years today after being convicted of conspiracy to murder by plotting with Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the convicted ringleader of the foiled plan to blow up passenger jets.

Adam Khatib, 23, of Walthamstow, east London, was found guilty yesterday by a majority of 11 jurors to one following a two-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Ali was jailed for a minimum of 40 years in September after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to murder by planning suicide attacks on transatlantic aircraft.

Three other men, Assad Sarwar, Tanvir Hussain and Umar Islam were also convicted in September of playing key roles in the plot.

Co-defendant Nabeel Hussain, 25, of Chingford, east London, was jailed for eight years.

Hussain was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts by meeting Ali twice in July 2006 and of possessing several items - a will, mobile phones and a £25,000 loan application - for use in terrorism.

Third co-defendant, Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 39, of Stoke Newington, north London, was jailed for 15 months for one count of possessing materials, namely a CD, likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He was also jailed for a further five years and nine months, to run consecutively, having pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm.

He has already served most of his sentence on remand since 2006 and could be eligible for release in two months, the court heard.

Uddin was found not guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts by meeting Ali on July 19, 2006 and of researching or permitting to research being carried out into the use and purchase of hydrogen peroxide.

He was also found not guilty of possessing materials, namely a CD, which could be used for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Judge Mr Justice Calvert-Smith labelled Khatib "Ali's lieutenant".

He told him: "The gravity of your offence is extreme," adding: "You are clearly a character capable of being charming. However, you are immature, attention-seeking and cold-hearted."

Prior to sentencing the trio Mr Justice Calvert-Smith echoed the words of Mr Justice Henriques who sentenced Abdulla Ahmed Ali and three other conspirators, Assad Sawar, Tanvir Hussain and Umar Islam.

He said: "The plot to murder passengers and crew on seven airliners was the most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction."

He added: "There was every likelihood that this plot would have succeeded without the intervention of the police and security services."

Comparing Khatib to Umar Islam, he said "you were recruited much, much earlier".

He pointed out that Khatib had spent five months in Pakistan with Ali in late 2005, and said: "The only reason that I have been able to deduce for that journey was to become his lieutenant."