'Truth has won' as terror plotter's wife cleared

The family of the wife of a convicted bomb plotter said today "the truth has won" after she was cleared of failing to pass on information about a possible terrorist act.

Cossor Ali, 28, was found not guilty by a jury after a day of deliberation following a three-week trial at Inner London Crown Court.



Her husband, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, was convicted last September over the foiled plot to blow up transatlantic airliners.



As she was acquitted, Mrs Ali cried "thank you, thank you, thank you" then fled the courtroom.



Outside, her father Mohammed Anwar told reporters: "The truth has won and justice prevails. We are grateful to the jury for returning a unanimous verdict.



"We have suffered as a family over the last three and half years for the actions of some individuals with whom we have nothing in common."



Mrs Ali always denied the charge of having information which might be of material assistance in preventing the commission by another person of an act of terrorism and not disclosing that information as soon as reasonably possible.



During the trial, prosecutors argued that Mrs Ali knew her husband planned mass murder by targeting passenger jets but failed to tell police.



But the jury believed Mrs Ali's defence that she did not know anything about it.



Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC argued that she began to sympathise with her husband's extremist beliefs.



In an entry she made in a notebook in 2005 when she was waiting for her husband to return from Pakistan, she wrote: "I am growing more and more attached to the cause for which you are striving for, and the reason for which we are apart.



"I hope and pray Allah grants your wish and gives you the highest level of shahada."



The prosecution also said she knew her husband planned to carry out a terror attack since he wrote his will in March 2004.



The will stated: "We know with full certainty that we are going to die so let us aim high and strive for the best death, i.e. shahada, and let us do the most pleasing deed to Allah and make the greatest sacrifice, fight with our life, tongue and wealth in the path of Allah."



Police found notes Abdulla Ahmed Ali made while listening to lectures on jihad, which had his wife's fingerprints on them, the court heard.



Islamic extremist books were also found in their one-bedroom flat in Walthamstow, east London.



And Abdulla Ahmed Ali made a suicide video for release after the transatlantic bomb plot, in which he threatened more attacks.



But when she was arrested in August 2006, Mrs Ali burst into tears and denied all knowledge of the plot in a police interview.



She said she thought her husband had bought a powdered drink, Tang, from Pakistan because he was developing his own product.



In fact it was to be used to colour liquid explosives so they looked like soft drinks.



Mrs Ali, who had a moderate upbringing in Walthamstow, told the court she felt her identity was being "erased" at the hands of an abusive husband and his strict Muslim family after their marriage in 2003.



She told jurors that he once hit her so hard that imprints of his fingers were left on her face.



She also said Ali forced her to wear a veil, even giving her a "love bite" on the cheek so she "wouldn't forget" to cover her face.



Mrs Ali told the court how her husband's views on Islam were different to hers, and she was made to feel like she wasn't a good Muslim.



She said she was "horrified" when she was shown the suicide tape her husband made as part of the bomb plot.



She viewed the video after being arrested in August 2006.



"I was shocked and disgusted that I was living with a man that could feel that much hate and be like that," she told the court, adding: "I was horrified, it made me hate him."



Giving evidence about her notebook entry, Ali said she took "shahada" to mean the "highest level of faith" instead of "martyrdom".



Asked outright if she knew what her husband was planning, she replied: "I didn't, no."



She told the court that, if she had been aware of what was going on, she would have "gone to my parents who would have had no hesitation about going to the police".



Commenting on the verdict, Colin Gibbs, of the counter-terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We believed we had sufficient evidence to put a case before a jury that Cossor Ali knew of her husband's mission to become a martyr for his terrorist beliefs.



"It was our case that from notes she wrote to him she knew of his intention to commit an act of terrorism and that this would have involved his own death and others.



"The jury heard both the prosecution and the defence case and decided that they could not be sure whether Mrs Ali had any knowledge of her husband's intentions and therefore whether she would have been able to alert the authorities.



"We would like to thank the jury for performing their duty in this case and we respect their verdict."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee