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
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2001 GMT (0401 HKT)
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0938 GMT (1738 HKT)
Al Qaeda's new Syrian branch, Khorasan, is seeking new ways to attack America and Europe, with a top U.S. intelligence official saying it has "aspirations for attacks on the homeland."
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 0655 GMT (1455 HKT)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2344 GMT (0744 HKT)
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT