- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

TORONTO (AP) - A judge sentenced a Canadian man to 10 1/2 years in prison Thursday for plotting with a group of British Muslims to bomb buildings and natural gas lines in the United Kingdom.

Momim Khawaja is the first person to be sentenced under Canadian anti-terrorism laws passed after the Sept. 11 attacks. He was convicted last fall of financing and facilitating terrorism.

His case is considered to be the first major test of the anti-terrorism laws.

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The Canadian-born Muslim of Pakistani descent was accused of collaborating with Britons of Pakistani descent in a thwarted 2004 plan to attack a London nightclub, a shopping center and electrical and gas facilities.

Khawaja pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The judge ruled Khawaja was aware of the group’s terrorist purpose, but the prosecution failed to prove he knew that the remote-control device he built to set off explosions _ called the Hi-Fi Digimonster _ was meant to be used in a plot to explode fertilizer bombs in London.

His lawyer called the ruling a victory because Khawaja was convicted on the less serious charges.

Five coconspirators were convicted in London in 2007 and sent to prison for life.

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