Court told of liquid bomb plot to down airliners

Thousands of people would have died in a terrorist plot to detonate home-made bombs on seven transatlantic jets, a court heard yesterday.

It is alleged that eight Islamic extremists conspired to smuggle bombs made from household goods and disguised as soft drinks. Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, told Woolwich Crown Court the London cell intended to cause civilian deaths on an “unprecedented scale” and strike a blow that “would reverberate across the globe”.

Six members of the gang recorded martyrdom videos, the jury heard. The plot was led by two ringleaders acting on instructions from masterminds in Pakistan to draw together a gang from vulnerable young Muslims, Mr Wright said. All eight deny conspiracy to murder.

In the dock are: Abdulla Ahmed Ali, aka Ahmed Ali Khan, 28, of Walthamstow; Assad Sarwar, 28, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Leyton; Ibrahim Savant, 28, of Stoke Newington; Arafat Waheed Khan, 27, of Walthamstow; Waheed Zaman, 24, of Walthamstow; Umar Islam, aka Brian Young, 30, of Plaistow and Donald Stewart-Whyte, 22, of High Wycombe. Savant, Khan, Zaman, Islam and Stewart-Whyte face one additional charge of conspiracy to murder, which they deny. The trial continues today.