Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 17:24 UK

Three men admit bomb plot charges

Abdulla Ahmed Ali (left), Assad Sarwar (centre) and Tanvir Hussain (right)
Mr Ali, Mr Sarwar and Mr Hussain admit conspiring to cause explosions

Three men accused of plotting to blow up planes in mid-air have admitted conspiring to cause explosions.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain pleaded guilty to plotting a blast at Heathrow airport.

They and fellow defendants Ibrahim Savant and Umar Islam also admitted conspiring to cause a public nuisance by making videos threatening bombings.

The Woolwich Crown Court jury has yet to rule on conspiracy to murder charges which the five and three others deny.

The men deny two charges, which have been amended, of conspiracy to murder between 1 January and 11 August 2006.

One specifies the attacks would have involved the detonation of improvised bombs on passenger aircraft.

'Immortality aim'

Prosecutors allege the eight planned to explode home-made bombs disguised as soft drinks on passenger jets flying from London's Heathrow airport to North American cities.

The men's arrests in August 2006 led to tight restrictions on carrying liquids on board aircraft.

Umar Islam (left) and Ibrahim Savant (right)
Mr Islam and Mr Savant admit making videos threatening bombings

Peter Wright QC, summing up the prosecution case on Monday, told the court the eight men had wanted to "achieve immortality and notoriety in equal measure".

Each of the defendants wanted to "murder as many civilian passengers as possible upon as many civilian aircraft as possible", he said.

They were all "prepared to kill and to do so on a wholly indiscriminate basis, irrespective of age, belief, sex and to do so without the slightest blink of an eye", he told the jury.

Mr Ali - the alleged ringleader of the plot - and Mr Sarwar had earlier told the court they had planned only to make a video highlighting what they described as injustices against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

This was no propaganda video, no documentary, no exercise or stunt - this was for real
Peter Wright QC

Their protest over British foreign policy was to possibly include a small explosion at Heathrow airport's Terminal Three in which no-one would be hurt, in order to publicise the video, they said.

The two men also considered other targets including gas terminals, oil refineries and airports, Mr Sarwar told the jury.

But Mr Wright described the defendants' explanations as "inherently improbable", "hollow" and "bogus".

"This was no propaganda video, no documentary, no exercise or stunt - this was for real," he said.

"Human bombs ready, able and willing to commit carnage for the sake of Islam."

'Strike a blow'

He said the men had been "almost ready to go" and had had enough hydrogen peroxide and other materials to make at least 20 bombs disguised as soft drinks when they were arrested by police.

"It was intended to be an act of terrorism to not only alter aviation history but also to strike a blow on behalf of radicalised Islamists the world over," he added.

The defendants are: Mr Ali, aka Ahmed Ali Khan, 27, of Walthamstow, London; Mr Sarwar, 28, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; Mr Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, and Mohammed Gulzar, 26, of Barking, London.

Also charged, are Mr Savant, 27, of Stoke Newington, north London, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, of Walthamstow, Waheed Zaman, 24, of Walthamstow and Mr Islam, aka Brian Young, 30, of Plaistow, east London.

The jury is expected to retire to consider the main conspiracy to murder charge next week.

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