Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 15:50 UK

Airlines bomb plot: The e-mails

Three men have been convicted of a plot to detonate bombs on transatlantic airliners. The trial heard that ringleaders Abdullah Ahmed Ali and Assad Sarwar used coded e-mails to contact jihadist leaders in Pakistan. One of Ahmed Ali's contacts is thought to have been a British man, Rashid Rauf, who helped plan plots for al-Qaeda. It's unclear whether he received any of these e-mails directly. The BBC has clarified some punctuation and spelling.

4 July 2006: Abdulla Ahmed Ali to Pakistan

Accused plotter Abdulla Ahmed Ali

Listen dude, when is your mate gonna bring the projectors and the taxis to me? I got all my bits and bobs. Tell your mate to make sure the projectors and taxis are fully ready and proper I don't want my presentation messing up.

Prosecutors said that projectors and taxis were code for knowledge and equipment because Ahmed Ali still needed some guidance. The word "presentation" could mean attack.

12 July 2006: Assad Sarwar to Pakistan

Assad Sarwar

I spoke to my friend and he will soon sort the prices for the telephones… Everything is going good here. Will need to send you some CDs and DVDs over to you soon. Don't forget to call me.

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT Over the coming weeks, surveillance officers see Sarwar, Ahmed Ali and Tanvir Hussain buying bomb parts. The prosecution alleges that CDs and DVDs is a reference to martyrdom videos they expect to send out to Pakistan.

13 July 2006: Pakistan to Ahmed Ali

Pakistan Taleban fighter

Hi gorgeous. Well nice to hear from you… Your friend can go for his rapping concert rehearsal... But somewhere popular would be good… make sure he goes on the bus service which is most common over there.

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT This was said to mean that their aides in Pakistan had given the go ahead for a dummy run to test airport security. The prosecution alleged "bus service" meant domestic American carrier, such as United, or American Airlines.

18 July 2006: Ahmed Ali to Pakistan

There are a few lads who wanna join up. I have about four lads.

19 July 2006: Sarwar to Pakistan

Hi [smiley emoticon]. Got some good news that will bring a big smile to your face… I have some nice files you will love. It will give you wet dreams after you see it ha ha ha. I have 15 suppliers to give Calvin Klein aftershave. One box of 50 is only £175.

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT This is the first in a series of confusing exchanges over the prices and quantities of aftershave and stock-buying. The prosecution said this was all code for quantities and concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, commonly sold as hair bleach. The chemical was a key part of the bomb design.

21 July 2006: Pakistan to Sarwar

Pakistan Taleban fighter

Regarding the aftershave bottles, you need 40x100ml bottles. I have orders for those already so I need those asap. I need to know when you can get me those asap. You know the price is always the same … but I need you to get another 30 bottles on top of the 40. The order for those should go through too. I don't want to wait around … I don't want to lose these customers.

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT Pakistan emphasises precise quantities and finished concentrations of chemicals (omitted from this transcript). At face value, Sarwar is under pressure to come up with a big order of aftershave. But surveillance officers see him buying hydrogen peroxide. Over the coming days, Tanvir Hussain and Ahmed Ali record martyrdom videos. Assad Sarwar buys more parts.

31 July 2006: Pakistan to Ahmed Ali

Pakistan Taleban fighter

How is the skin infection you were telling me about? Has it got worse or is the cream working?

3 August 2006: Ahmed Ali to Pakistan

Listen, it's confirmed, I have fever. Sometimes when I go out in the sun to meet people, I feel hot… by the way I set up my music shop now. I only need to sort out the opening time. I need stock…

4 August 2006: Pakistan to Ahmed Ali

Do you think you can still open the shop with this skin problem? Is it only minor or can you still sort an opening time without the skin problem worsening?

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT The men suspect they are being watched. Skin infection, the jury heard, meant surveillance. In fact, they are all being watched in the UK's largest-ever surveillance operation, involving scores of officers working around the clock.

6 August 2006: Ahmed Ali to Pakistan

Accused plotter Abdulla Ahmed Ali

I will still open the shop. I don't think it's so bad that I can't work. But if I feel really ill, I'll let you know. I also have to arrange for the printers to be picked up and stored… I have done all my prep, all I have to do is sort out opening timetable and bookings.

WHAT PROSECUTORS SAID IT MEANT The clock is ticking and Ahmed Ali wants to finish the bombs - described here as "printers". During 9 August, the men are arrested. In Ahmed Ali's pocket, there is a USB drive with the details of transatlantic flights.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific