Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 15:22 UK

Jury considers 'plane bombs plot'

The accused men
All eight men deny conspiring to murder aircraft passengers

The jury in the trial of eight men accused of plotting to suicide-bomb passenger planes has gone home at the end of its first day of deliberations.

The men planned to explode home-made bombs disguised as soft drinks on flights from London to North America, Woolwich Crown Court has been told.

Three men have pleaded guilty to plotting a blast at Heathrow airport.

But all eight men deny two charges of conspiracy to murder between 1 January and 11 August 2006.

The prosecution claims they planned to make hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as soft drinks which would then be detonated on at least seven planes flying out of London's Heathrow airport.

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

Sending the jury out on Monday, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said: "There is absolutely no time pressure on you. You may take all the time you feel you need to consider the case."

Hoaxes claim

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain have admitted plotting a blast at Heathrow airport.

Mr Ali and Mr Sarwar told the court that the small blast at the airport's Terminal Three, in which no-one would be hurt, would have been to publicise a planned video claiming injustices against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

The three men and fellow defendants Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam also admitted conspiring to cause a public nuisance by making videos threatening bombings.

Mr Ali claimed that the martyrdom videos were hoaxes to be used as part of the documentary.

But prosecutor Peter Wright QC told the jury: "This was no propaganda video, no documentary, no exercise or stunt - this was for real."

He said the accused wished to "murder as many civilian passengers as possible upon as many civilian aircraft as possible".

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, Mr Khan, 26, and Mr Zaman, 24, both of Walthamstow, and Mr Islam, aka Brian Young, 30, of Plaistow, east London.



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