Video: Al-Qa'ida supporters plead guilty to London bomb plot
Published 02/02/2012 | 05:00
FOUR men who were inspired by al-Qa'ida admitted plotting to bomb the London Stock Exchange yesterday. Five other men have pleaded guilty to other terrorism offences and all nine will be sentenced next week.
A handwritten target list found at the home of one of the men included the names and addresses of the London mayor Boris Johnson, two rabbis, the American Embassy and the London Stock Exchange.
The nine men, who are all British nationals, were followers of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the senior al-Qa'ida recruiter and planner killed four months ago in a US drone attack in Yemen.
They kept copies of al-Qa'ida's 'Inspire' magazine, which aims to galvanise Western radicals to bring terror to their own countries by offering fundamentalist teachings and instructions on making bombs.
Four of the gang admitted the Stock Exchange plot, while five accomplices admitted associated terrorism offences.
The men wanted to send mail bombs and also discussed launching a "Mumbai-style" atrocity.
They were followed by undercover police observing landmarks such as Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abbey, and were recorded researching how to make pipe bombs and talking of raising funds to send British citizens to training camps abroad.
When they were arrested, the man accused of being the "lynchpin" of the gang, Mohammed Chowdhury (21), had a list of targets as well as a sketch of what appeared to be a car bomb.
Their primary aim, Andrew Edis, for the prosecution, explained, was to cause terror and economic damage, but their actions would undoubtedly have "maimed and killed" innocent people.
The nine men had all denied terrorism charges, but yesterday, on the eve of an expected five-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court, they each pleaded guilty.
Mr Justice Wilkie is expected to sentence them next week. Chowdhury, the key connection between the group, was told he could expect a sentence of more than 13 years. (© Independent News Service)