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UK bomb plot doctor jailed for 32 years

  • Story Highlights
  • Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdulla sentenced to at least 32 years in prison
  • Judge: Abdulla "a danger to the British public"
  • Abdulla found guilty of conspiracy to murder in June 2007
  • Abdulla planned car bomb attacks on targets in Glasgow and London
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- An Iraqi doctor was jailed for at least 32 years Wednesday for his part in a car bomb attack at a busy Scottish airport in June 2007 and failed attacks in London a day earlier.

Bilal Abdulla being arrested after the Glasgow airport attack.

Bilal Abdulla was jailed for life by a British court after his terrorism conviction.

On Tuesday, a jury at Woolwich Crown Court in south London found Bilal Abdulla guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiring to cause explosions.

The court heard that Abdulla wanted revenge for the Iraq war and what he believed to be Western oppression of Muslims around the world. But the seven female jurors and five men rejected his defense that he planned the attacks to highlight the plight of Iraqis.

After passing sentence, the judge, Mr Justice Mackay, told the 29-year old he was "religious extremist and a bigot" who held the most extreme form of Islamist views, The British Press Association reported.

He added: "Many people felt and still feel strong opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

"You do, you are sincere in that and you have strong reasons for holding that view. But you were born with intelligence and you were born into a privileged and well-to-do position in Iraq and you are a trained doctor."

The judge said Abdulla's radical religious and political beliefs meant he continued to be a danger to the British public, PA reported. He said: "All of the evidence makes you a very dangerous man, you pose a high risk of serious harm to the British public in your present state of mind.

"That fact plus the circumstances of the offences themselves means that the only possible sentence on each of these two counts is a life sentence."

Jordanian doctor Mohammed Asha was acquitted of the same offenses. He is expected to be deported to Jordan, according to PA.

A third man charged in the case, Sabeel Ahmed -- Kafeel Ahmed's brother -- pleaded guilty in April for failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism. He was deported to India earlier this year.

The two-month trial dealt with the discovery in June 2007 of two explosives-filled Mercedes cars in central London.

One of the cars was parked outside a packed nightclub near Piccadilly Circus and the other was parked just off Trafalgar Square. Video Watch as doctor convicted over plot »

An ambulance crew notified police about the first car after they saw smoke coming from it. The second car was towed away for a parking offense but drew suspicion because it smelled of fuel.

Officials later said both cars cars were filled with fuel, gas canisters, and nails. Police managed to defuse them.

The following day, with attention still focused on the averted attacks in the capital, a Jeep SUV sped through barriers outside Glasgow International Airport and slammed head-on into the terminal. The Jeep, filled with propane gas, burst into flames and created a fireball.

The driver and passenger jumped out of the car. The driver, Kafeel Ahmed, set himself on fire and later died in the hospital; the passenger was identified as Abdulla, an Iraqi doctor who had been practicing medicine in Scotland.


Later that day, police arrested Asha as he was driving with his wife on a motorway in Cheshire, northwest England. Police said Asha, a doctor of Palestinian descent who grew up in Jordan, conspired with Abdulla to carry out the explosions, but the jury did not agree.

The incidents happened just days after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown took office.

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