Skip to main content

Three convicted of plotting terror attack 'bigger than 7/7'

By Laura Smith-Spark, Jonathan Wald and Claudia Rebaza, CNN
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1758 GMT (0158 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The 3 men planned to detonate backpack bombs in crowded areas, the court heard
  • NEW: They traveled to Pakistan to attend a terror training camp
  • Ashik Ali, Ifran Khalid and Ifran Naseer wanted to carry out a big attack, prosecutors say
  • "These men had dangerous aspirations," says prosecutor Karen Jones

London (CNN) -- Three men were found guilty of plotting a terror attack they hoped would be bigger than the July 7, 2005, bombings that rocked London, UK prosecutors said Thursday.

Ashik Ali, Ifran Khalid and Ifran Naseer, all from Birmingham, England, were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court on 12 counts of committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

READ: Terror trial begins in Britain

The three men planned to set off up to eight backpack bombs in crowded areas, and had traveled to a terror training camp in Pakistan for expert training and preparation, the court heard during a 14-week trial.

"Had they not been stopped, the consequences would have been catastrophic," said Karen Jones, a specialist counter-terrorism prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service. "These men had dangerous aspirations."

2 arrested in London terror probe
Terror arrests in London
Abu Qatada's deportation appeal

While their precise targets remained unclear, "the potential for damage and loss of life from their plot should not be underestimated," Jones added.

"The evidence we put to the court showed the defendants discussing with awe and admiration the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7. These terrorists wanted to do something bigger, speaking of how 7/7 had 'gone a bit wrong.'"

READ: Documents give new details on al Qaeda's London bombings

West Midlands Police said Naseer, 31, talked of "spilling so much blood you'll have nightmares for the rest of your lives."

The three men posed as bogus charity collectors within their local community to raise money to fund their plans, the police statement said.

Naseer was also found guilty of helping four younger men travel to the terror training camp after he, Khalid and Ali, both 27, returned from Pakistan, it said.

"The link to training camps demonstrates the international dimension of the threat we continue to face," said West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale.

"The numbers involved in terrorism are small but the potential impact they could have if successful is huge."

The men are due to be sentenced later this year.

The judge told them all to expect life sentences with substantial minimum terms, the police statement said.

The July 7, 2005 bombings in London, which targeted buses and the subway, killed 52 people and injured more than 700.

CNN's Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT