Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 16:33 UK

Aircraft bomb plot trial to begin

Woolwich Crown Court
Potential jurors at the Crown Court were told the trial would be high profile

Jurors are being selected ahead of the trial of eight men charged over an alleged plot to blow up passenger planes flying out of Heathrow airport.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith warned 100 potential jurors the trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London would be high profile, long and complex.

The men are accused of conspiring to murder others and endangering aircraft bound for the US and Canada.

After their arrests in August 2006, airport security was tightened.

Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said: "This case concerns an allegation that in 2006 a number of men planned to create bombs which some of their number would take on board passenger aircraft flying from London Heathrow to various destinations in Canada and the USA.

"It is further alleged that the bombs were planned to be set off when the aircraft were airborne and the bombers and all on board the aircraft would be killed."

Jurors were told they may not be able to serve if they have links to the police, security services or Heathrow airport, or if they had been a victim of a terrorist incident.

The defendants are Abdul Ahmed Ali, aka Ahmed Ali Khan, 27, of Walthamstow, Assad Sarwar, 24, of High Wycombe, Tanvir Hussain, 27, of no fixed address, and Mohammed Gulzar, 26, of Barking.

Also charged, are Ibrahim Savant, 27, of Walthamstow, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, of Walthamstow, Waheed Zaman, 23, of Walthamstow and Umar Islam, aka Brian Young, 29, of High Wycombe.

The prosecution counsel is expected to open its case against them on Thursday.

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