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Last Updated: Monday September 14 2009 11:59 GMT

Bomb plan man jailed for 40 years

Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain
Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain

A man who planned terrorist attacks that could have blown up passenger planes over the Atlantic Ocean will spend at least 40 years in prison.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali was the leader of a group who planned to use chemicals to blow up planes while in flight.

Police stopped the men before they could carry out the plan, and on 7 September a jury in London found three men guilty of planning the attacks.

The jury weren't able to decide if other men were also involved.

They could face another trial at a later dater.

All the guilty men were given life sentences, and the judge told each of them they would spend a minimum time in prison.

Ali, 28, was given a minimum sentence of 40 years. Assad Sarwar, 29, will spend at least 36 years behind bars.

Tanvir Hussain, will spend a minimum of 32 years in prison.

The men planned the attacks in the UK, and intended to smuggle explosives onto planes at Heathrow and then detonate them on the way to America.

A fourth man, Umar Islam, 31, convicted of a more general conspiracy to murder charge, has been given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.

How the plot changed air travel

The airline plot changed air travel. After it was uncovered security at airports got much, much tighter and lots of flights were cancelled.

The three men had planned to take chemicals on board planes in ordinary drinks containers. The metal detecting scanners used to keep airports safe wouldn't be able to detect them.

They had hoped to set off explosives on a number of planes at the same time, but the police realised what they were up to.

They tracked the group for a long time before gathering enough evidence to arrest them.

Liquid restrictions

Those arrests took place on 9 August 2006. At the same time, security at airports was stepped up.

The changes made a big difference to what people could take on board planes, especially relating to liquids on planes.

This case and the plans of these men is the reason why now you can only take small containers of liquids onto planes in your hand luggage.