UK airplane bomb plotters sentenced, sent to jail

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Three men convicted of plotting to blow up seven transatlantic passenger jets were sentenced and sent to jail on Monday.

The trio's ringleader, Abdulla Ahmed Al, 28, received a minimum of 40 years in prison. Assad Sarwar, 29, received a sentence of at least 36 years and Tanvir Hussain, 28, at least 32 years. All three are suspected to have had links with al-Qaeda.

Map by the US Transportation Security Administration showing the flights that were targeted the bombing plot.

The three men had been accused of plotting to destroy several transatlantic passengers jets headed for North America by smuggling liquid explosives disguised as soft drinks onto the plane. The targeted planes were all departing from the Heathrow Airport in London, bound for locations such as Chicago, Illinois, New York, New York, Toronto, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec.

The plot was said to have been only a few days from being executed when it was discovered by the authorities.

"I'm very pleased the jury gave a sentence that was proportionate to this potential crime," said the UK Home Secretary, Alan Johnson. "Our police and our national security service is a national asset, they've proven that again today."

Johnson said the sentencing "reflected the severity of this horrendous plot to kill and maim thousands of people".