3 UK men convicted of plotting terrorist attack bigger than London's 7/7


A gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum in Miami. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Joe Raedle

Three UK men were found guilty of plotting a terrorist attack they hoped would be bigger than the London bombings on July 7, 2005.

According to CNN, Ashik Ali, 27, Ifran Khalid, 27, and Ifran Naseer, 31, all of Birmingham, England, were convicted on 12 count of committing acts in preparation of a terrorist attack at the Woolwich Crown Court. The three men had traveled to a terror training camp in Pakistan to prepare for their attack, which included plans to set off up to eight backpack bombs in crowded areas.

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"Had they not been stopped, the consequences would have been catastrophic," said Karen Jones, a specialist counter-terrorism prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, noted CNN. "These men had dangerous aspirations."

The men were arrested in September 2011 and all face life in prison when sentences are imposed in April or May, reported the Associated Press.

"You were seeking to recruit a team of somewhere between six and eight suicide bombers to carry out a spectacular bombing campaign, one which would create an anniversary along the lines of 7/7 or 9-11," Judge Richard Henriques told them after the jury reached its verdict. "It's clear that you were planning a terrorist outrage in Birmingham."

According to The Guardian, the three were key members of a Birmingham-based terror cell and are among a number of extremists in the UK who have been radicalized by the magazine Inspire, an al-Qaeda-produced self-help guide pushed on future terrorists through internet forums.

They tricked members of the public into making donations of thousands of pounds that went to fun their terror plot by saying they were collecting money for a charity called Muslim Aid, which is based in Sparkhill, Birmingham. They managed to collect £14,500 in two weeks.