LONDON (Reuters) - A British man was found guilty on Wednesday of conspiring with the ringleader of a suspected al Qaeda plot to blow up transatlantic airliners bound for North America using liquid explosives.
Abdulla Ahmed Ali and two others were jailed in September for the attempt, described as being on the scale of the September 11 attacks and which led to tight restrictions on the amount of liquids passengers could take on board planes.
The bombers intended to destroy at least seven aircraft, carrying more than 200 passengers each, in mid-flight between London’s Heathrow airport and the United States and Canada in August 2006 using explosives hidden in soft drink bottles.
Woolwich Crown Court in London heard Adam Khatib, 23, who was convicted of conspiracy to murder, although not of specific involvement in the airline plot, had assisted Ali.
His fingerprints were found on items in the plotters bomb factory in east London and he had also traveled to Pakistan with Ali, the court heard.
“Adam Khatib may not have known the full extent of the plan being hatched by his co-conspirators, but he certainly knew that they had murder in mind,” said John McDowall, head of the Britain’s Counter Terrorist Command.
“He was a foot soldier to Abdulla Ahmed Ali and was actively involved in a conspiracy to attack innocent members of the public.”
The bomb plot was smashed in August 2006 following the largest counter-terrorism operation ever carried out by British police.
Detectives said the plan, believed to have been hatched by senior al Qaeda figures in Pakistan, was just days away from being put into operation.
Khatib’s two co-defendants were also convicted of terrorism offences. Nabeel Hussain, 25, east London, was found guilty of preparing for terrorism by meeting Ali twice in July 2006 and of possessing several items for use in terrorism.
Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 39, was convicted of possessing materials likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
The men will all be sentenced on Thursday.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Matthew Jones