By Jeffrey Denning
As reported by the Associated Press, five men pleaded guilty recently in a London court in the trans-Atlantic airline plot (a.k.a. London Bomb Plot) which was busted up in August 2006.
The men maintained they never intended to destroy any airplanes, and that their devious plan was just a publicity stunt –– for a movie.
It was just harmless fun they plead! Innocent banter! Where is everyon’s sense of humor?
Well, as the English would say, at least when I first read it in Jules Verne’s classic, Around the World in Eighty Days –– Pshaw!
But wait, there’s more.
Prosecutors say three of the five men and two other defendants — Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 28, Tanvir Hussain, 27, Ibrahim Savant, 27, and Umar Islam, 30 — wanted to kill hundreds of passengers with liquid explosives.
Their sophisticated plan involved concealing improvised explosives in soft drink bottles indigenous to the United Kingdom. While their flights crossed over the Atlantic Ocen –– Kaboom!
With over 400 plus passengers on a packed overseas flight, committing a suicide attack on a jumbo jet would be ideal. Better yet, according to their demented thinking, nearly a dozen planes blowing up at once would be spectacular.
The group surely wasn’t without their role models, though they’d never admit they admired women.
On August 24, 2004, two “black widow” Chechens from Grozny bribed their way past airport security screeners in Moscow and boarded a Volga-Avia Express flight and Siberian (or Sibir) Airliner, respectively. They simultaneously blew themselves up, killing 89 people aboard the airliners.
And who could forget the infamous “shoe bomber” Richard Reid who, by the way, held a British passport? He nearly brought down American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami on December 22, 2001.
A 25-year-old British man named Saajidap Badat purchased a ticket from Manchester to Amsterdam and then on to the United States at roughly the same time as Richard Reid. Badat, also a shoe bomber, conspired with Reid. Badat dismantled his bomb however, after having second thoughts.
Sadly, for those interested in conducting a suicide bomb attack on a commercial airliner, all it would take is a little dedication. That’s exactly what these London Bomb Plot team had — dedication and a dash of creativity.
After making their ‘martyr’ videos to be shown after the suicide attacks, they were busted. That’s when they claimed they weren’t trying to hurt anyone.
Caught red-handed, some pled to whatever the evidence was against them, i.e. “conspiring to cause a public nuisance” by publishing videos threatening suicide bomb attacks. According to the article:
Ali and Sarwar told the court they were assembling the weapons as part of a publicity stunt to promote an anti-Western documentary which would feature the videos. Ali said he hoped a small, non-fatal, bombing — at Britain’s Houses of Parliament, at an oil refinery, or at an airport — would jolt Londoners and draw attention to his movie.
“We did not want to kill or injure anyone,” Ali told Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London last month. He added that he wanted to set off something “that would be considered serious and credible, something to generate that mass media attention.”
Well, the group certainly did get mass media attention. But as far as the other attempts at trying to lessen the seriousness of the crime, I have one word for that too … Pshaw!
(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)