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View Full Version : Questions unanswered in U.K. liquid bomb trial



Magda Hassan
09-09-2009, 02:48 AM
My bolding.

http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/495687

Questions unanswered in U.K. liquid bomb trial



Sep 09, 2008 04:30 AM





(http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/495687#Comments)
[/URL][URL="http://www.thestar.com/opinion/columnists/94534"]Mitch Potter (http://www.thestar.com/opinion/columnists/94534) (http://www.thestar.com/opinion/columnists/94534)
Europe Bureau
LONDON–Was a Toronto-bound jetliner really in the crosshairs of a British terror ring determined to unleash Al Qaeda-inspired mass murder?
That crucial and vexing question was left unanswered yesterday when a British jury returned irreconcilably deadlocked in the so-called liquid bomb trial, unable to decide whether transatlantic flights from London's Heathrow Airport to Toronto, Montreal and other destinations were at the heart of the case.
In a partial decision on an affair that changed the way the world flies, the jury of eight men and four women instead found three of the eight mostly British-born defendants guilty on a secondary charge – conspiracy to murder. Though the convictions come with maximum life sentences, the determination of guilt is generic and does not establish the actual targets of the 2006 plot.
In so ruling on accused ringleaders Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 28, and Tanvir Hussain, 27, the jury at Woolwich Crown Court rejected a defence claim the three were merely planning a non-lethal explosion in London as a publicity stunt to draw attention to a supposed documentary they were preparing on the plight of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A fourth defendant, Mohammed Gulzar, was found not guilty on all charges. The jury failed to reach any verdict on the four remaining defendants – Arafat Waheed Khan, Ibrahim Savant, Waheed Zaman and Umar Islam.
The fragmented ruling comes as a mixed blessing to prosecutors, who presented what the Crown regarded as an ironclad case during the three-month trial, detailing a plan to smuggle hydrogen peroxide onto aircraft in soft-drink bottles and combine it with other ingredients to create bombs onboard.
Among the most damning evidence was a series of Al Qaeda-style "martyrdom" videos uncovered by British MI5 and SO15 counter-terrorism teams after they ended an around-the-clock surveillance and swooped down on the plot masters in a series of late-night raids in August 2006.
Air travel was transformed in the immediate aftermath of the arrests with the imposition of sweeping new passenger codes that strictly limited carry-on liquids. British Airways alone was forced to cancel nearly 1,300 flights in the first week of the heightened security alert, as screening crews struggled to cope with the demands of increased scrutiny at Heathrow and other British airports.
"This is still the subject of ongoing proceedings and the prosecution is considering a request for a retrial," the Crown Prosecution Service said in an emailed statement. Prosecutors have until Sept. 26 to decide whether to push for a new trial.
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put the best face on the partial ruling, saying: "I am indebted to the police and security services who by successfully disrupting this group have saved countless lives."
The case has attracted considerable skeptical commentary in the British media, with some explosives experts publicly doubting whether the would-be bombers could have succeeded in mixing and detonating the volatile liquids in mid-air.
Other U.K. reports have cited sources suggesting U.S. intelligence officials pressed their British counterparts to intercept and arrest the ring prematurely, thereby undermining the quality of evidence.
"There is an inbuilt tension in terror plot investigations because the emphasis has to be on saving lives rather than building open-and-shut cases," said Bob Ayers, a defence and security analyst with the London-based think-tank Chatham House.
"But even so, this is a very weird, confusing outcome. Obviously, the most important thing is the jury ruled that these three men, if not the others, conspired to murder. Whether it was an elegant conspiracy or whether they had a hope in hell of actually achieving it is irrelevant.
"The crime is conspiracy, not the ability to carry it out. It may not seem rational to a guy on the street. But what matters is that these people are taken out of circulation and punished in such a way that the offence is perceived a completely serious," Ayers said.

David Guyatt
09-09-2009, 10:17 AM
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put the best face on the partial ruling, saying: "I am indebted to the police and security services who by successfully disrupting this group have saved countless lives."


We Brits are all indebted to Jacqui Smith for her extravagant expenditure of the public purse for personal benefit...

Peter Presland
09-09-2009, 11:06 AM
We Brits are all indebted to Jacqui Smith for her extravagant expenditure of the public purse for personal benefit...
I'm pretty much lost for words over this whole 'liquid bomb plot' issue. The thing is just so outrageously in-your-face absurd as to beggar rational comment.

A case so tenuous that a retrial was needed to secure at least a few of the required convictions (A bit like the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum).

You really do have to be blind stupid not to see the hand of MI5 behind the whole thing, but what do we get from the MSM? "Three guilty of airline bomb plot bigger than 9/11 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/6151141/Three-guilty-of-airline-bomb-plot-bigger-than-911.html)" and "The bomb plot to kill 10,000 people (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/6153243/Airline-terror-trial-The-bomb-plot-to-kill-10000-people.html)" are fairly typical headlines from the so-called 'quality' press. The tabloids? - wow! we've been saved from a fate far worse than death itself thanks to our wonderful Police and SIS's.


"The crime is conspiracy, not the ability to carry it out."Exactly. The notion that mixing a viable explosive device in-flight from the alleged liquid ingredients is so far beyond the realms of possibility as to be totally absurd; but rationality and viability simply do not enter into the matter - other than to persuade credulous but resisting jurors.

The need is to keep the general public in a state of fear - grateful to their brave, diligent SIS's for keeping them safe, when it is the SIS's themselves, provoking coaching and generally cultivating patsie 'plots' so as to save us all in the nick of time with their derring-do, who are the ones that they/we should be living in fear of.

The UK SIS's have got a problem though because, by now, our Asian community are so thoroughly infiltrated by the CIA that any 'off-message' activities by the UK could well provoke the kind of nasty 'covert-ops' type activity they seem constitutionally unable to resist and which will have the likes of MI5 and MI6 scrambling to re-assert political compliance again - Lockerbie springs naturally to mind.

Magda Hassan
09-09-2009, 11:52 AM
The notion that mixing a viable explosive device in-flight from the alleged liquid ingredients is so far beyond the realms of possibility as to be totally absurd; but rationality and viability simply do not enter into the matter - other than to persuade credulous but resisting jurors.



I am reminded of a scene from the movie 'In the Name of the Father' about the Guilford Four and Maguire Seven where Anne Maguire, something of a loyalist by the look of the photos on the wall, was arrested along with everyone else in the house and whose hands tested positive for nitrates, a common ingredient in dish washing liquid amongst other things including some explosives. And they knew that too.

David Guyatt
09-09-2009, 12:33 PM
The question one has to ask about the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven (and one or two other supposed IRA atrocities) is that if they weren't responsible then who was? Answers on a postcard to the Inc c/o Box 500.

The result of the liquid bomb plot, 911, 7/7 et al is to have permitted the government to impose Big Brother on us. As an example, a few days ago I transferred a small sum of money to France - less than £500 - as a deposit for a family holiday next year to celebrate our Fortieth wedding anniversary. My bank insisted on being given a reason for the transfer, under money laundering laws. A polite struggle ensued. On principle I declined to give the reason, but it became obvious that the payment would not be made (or worse, would be returned at extra cost). Eventually I gave a reason that was neither the truth nor a lie. I don't like being put in this position. How I spend my money is my affair and not for my bank or the government to contemplate. Especially when the sum involved clearly cannot be for money laundering due to the small amount transferred.

Peter Presland
09-12-2009, 08:12 AM
For the second time a jury has failed to reach verdicts on some of the charges against some of the accused so, a THIRD trial has been announced. Beggars belief doesn't it?

I listened to a 'legal spokesman' for the Crown Prosecution Service drone on for about 15 uninterrupted minutes on the BBC this morning. It was painful. The man was a conceited, 'superior', Oxford-accented bore, feigning 'grave concern' over this latest jury lapse, with the interviewer equally grave and ultra-respectful in tone, which actually made the piece rather amusing - in a Monty Python-like way. The thing is we are seriously supposed to nod along in an equally grave, respectful fashion and believe all this crap, which makes it very UN-funny.

You can bet your sweet life that the third jury will be VERY carefully vetted

This from the Telegraph: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/6176857/Airline-bomb-plot-accused-to-face-retrial-DPP-announces.html)


Airline bomb plot accused to face retrial, DPP announces

Three men accused of planning a series of co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks on transatlantic airliners that could have killed up 10,000 people will face a third trial.

Ibrahim Savant, 28, Arafat Waheed Khan, 28, and Waheed Zaman, 25, will face a third trial, Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions announced.

The trio were acquitted earlier this week of the airlines plot and the jury failed to conclude whether they were guilty of conspiracy to murder.

The jury had decided the three did not know of the airline plot but could not determine whether they were planning another terrorist attack.

Three of their co-accused were convicted of plotting to cause mass murder by detonating home-made liquid explosives on board at least seven passenger flights bound for the US and Canada.

It had the potential to be three times as deadly as the 9/11 attacks of 2001.

The DPP argued it was in the public interest to take the unusual step of seeking a third trial.

Mr Starmer said there was a realistic prospect of gaining a conviction against the trio for conspiracy to murder.

“Although I recognise that it is common practice for prosecutors in England and Wales to offer no evidence against a defendant if two previous juries have been unable to agree, that is no more than a convention,” he said.

“My task is to judge whether, taking into account all relevant considerations, the public interest is better served in this particular case by offering no evidence or by seeking a further retrial.

"Having taken into account the views of the prosecution team, I am satisfied that, notwithstanding the failure of two juries to agree a verdict, there remains a realistic prospect of a conviction against each defendant on the charge of conspiracy to murder.”

He added: "Having regard to the very serious nature of the charge and the very considerable public interest in having the allegation determined by a jury one way or the other, I have concluded that, in this exceptional case, it is in the public interest to seek a further retrial.”

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, Assad Sarwar, 29, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, were found guilty of conspiracy to murder by detonating bombs on airliners at the end of a six-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court in London.

A jury at their previous trial had failed to reach verdicts on whether such a plot existed.

The jury found a fourth man, Islamic convert Umar Islam, 31, guilty of conspiracy to murder but could not decide if he knew about the plan to blow up aircraft. He will not face a retrial.

An eighth man, Donald Stewart-Whyte, 23, was acquitted of all charges.

The group’s arrest in 2006 resulted in immediate worldwide restrictions on passengers carrying liquids in their hand luggage.

A ban on containers larger than 100ml is still in place.

The trio will face the retrial on a date to be set.

The convicted plotters will be sentenced next week.

Magda Hassan
09-12-2009, 10:13 AM
Seem like they will keep going to trial until they get the verdict they wanted in the first place. Eventually they'll run out of jurors.

David Guyatt
09-13-2009, 10:59 AM
Seem like they will keep going to trial until they get the verdict they wanted in the first place.

Same deal with the Inquiry into the death of Princess Di. It worked okay in that case so I guess it's become a template for the future.