Five men appearing in the Old Bailey central criminal court in London, have been found guilty of plotting a series of deadly bomb attacks in Britain. A judge has sentenced them to life imprisonment. They include the alleged mastermind, 25-year-old Omar Kayyam, as well as Waheed Mahmood, Anthony Garcia, Jawad Akbar and Salahuddin Amin.
Two other suspects were cleared of all charges. The group were caught after police and MI5 launched a massive surveillance operation four years ago. A call from staff at a self-storage unit in west London gave them the evidence they needed. The gang had stored 600 kilograms of ammonium nitrate here.
Bugging devices were placed in gang members’ homes and cars. They were heard discussing the possibility of attacking trains, the Ministry of Sound nightclub, the National Grid and the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. But police smashed the plot before a target was fixed.
There was praise today from the interior minister, Home Secretary John Reid who said: “Five very dangerous terrorists are now behind bars due to the efforts of our security services and our police. I want to extend my personal thanks to them and I believe the gratitude of everyone in this country.”
According to court documents, police tracking the gang members saw them meeting two of the suicide bombers, responsible for the attacks in London of 7 July, 2005. The motive for the foiled plot was reportedly revenge for Britain’s support of the US in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.