Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 10:32 UK

Jailed bomb plotters lose appeal

Fertiliser kept in a storage centre as part of a bomb plot
Bomb plot: Fertiliser stored in lock-up

Five men who were jailed for plotting a massive fertiliser bomb attack have lost their appeal against conviction.

The Court of Appeal in London upheld the convictions of the five men, who were jailed after Britain's longest-ever terrorism prosecution.

Omar Khyam, Anthony Garcia, Jawad Akbar, Waheed Mahmood and Salahuddin Amin planned to target nightclubs or a major shopping centre near London.

The police stopped them after an international investigation.

Khyam, Mahmood and Akbar, of Crawley in West Sussex, Garcia of Barkingside in east London and Amin of Luton were all found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions after a 14-month trial which ended in the spring of 2007.

Torture claim

The three Court of Appeal judges rejected their case on Wednesday - but ordered a reduction in the minimum sentence to be served by two of the men.

Garcia's minimum term of 20 years has now been reduced to 17-and-a-half-years.

Amin, who has alleged he received an unfair trial because he was tortured in Pakistan, saw his minimum term reduced from 17-and-a-half-years to 16 years and nine months.

The massive police and MI5 operation behind the convictions began in 2003 when the security services identified a group of men they believed were actively plotting a terrorist attack.

The plot involved links to conspirators in Canada and Pakistan where some of the men had learned bomb-making skills.

The five men lost their appeals against their convictions

Khyam, the ringleader of the plot, had bought 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser and had placed it in a storage centre for future use.

But the security services had successfully bugged some of the men and placed an undercover agent in the storage centre.

The bugs recorded the men discussing possible targets including the Bluewater shopping centre and Ministry of Sound nightclub, one of the largest in London.

The men argued in the trial that the plot was never serious and they had never reached the final phase of putting together a realistic plan.

But police said they had smashed the conspiracy to prevent it getting too close to completion.

At their trial, the judge warned the five that their crimes were so serious they may never be released.

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