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3 convicted in third trial in 2006 liquid-bomb plot

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • British court convicted three of conspiracy to murder as suicide bombers
  • The trial was the third for Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman
  • Jurors in a September 2009 trial were unable to reach verdict on a key charge
  • The foiled 2006 plot led to restrictions on liquids at airports throughout the world

London, England (CNN) -- In a third trial, three men have been convicted in a 2006 plot to blow up commercial airliners over the Atlantic Ocean, the head of Britain's counterterrorism prosecution told CNN on Thursday.

Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman were convicted of conspiracy to murder as suicide bombers. They and other conspirators planned to detonate liquid explosives stowed aboard the planes in soft drink bottles, prosecutors said.

The men "were actively working alongside other men on a plot to cause death and injury on a massive scale," said Sue Hemming, head of the Counter Terrorism Division at the Crown Prosecution Service, in a statement released to CNN.

"They were cleared in the previous trial of being aware of the ultimate targets of the plot," Hemming's statement said, "but we say that they were committed to the principle and practice of violent jihad to the point of targeting innocent people in an attempt to further their cause.

"The verdicts demonstrate that the Crown Prosecution Service was right to pursue a third trial."

In the first trial in December 2008, the jury was hung on a key charge. In the September 2009 retrial, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Tanvir Hussain and Assad Sarwar were convicted, but the jury could not decide whether to convict Savant, Khan and Zaman of conspiracy to murder persons unknown.

The foiled plot created global chaos as airports were closed and passengers stranded.

New restrictions were instituted worldwide and a ban on liquids remains in effect in most airports around the world. Twelve people have now been prosecuted in connection with the liquid bomb plot.