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Terrorism & Security

Britain jails Iraqi doctor for terror plots, as Brown orders troops out

Bilal Abdulla received life in prison for a 2007 attack on the Glasgow airport and a foiled plot against a London nightclub.

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On Tuesday, the jury in the London trial found Abdulla guilty of conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions, reports CNN. His defense said that his acts were designed to draw attention to the plight of Iraqis. During sentencing on Wednesday, the presiding judge dismissed this plea and said Abdulla was an educated man, a "religious extremist," and a danger to the British public. The concurrent life sentences imply a minimum of 32 years in jail.

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A codefendant, Jordanian doctor Mohammed Asha, was acquitted Tuesday of the same charges and faces possible deportation. A third man in the plot pleaded guilty to lesser charges in April and was deported to India. That man's brother, Kafeel Ahmed, drove a blazing Jeep loaded with propane gas into Glasgow International Airport terminal and set himself on fire. He later died of his injuries. Abdulla was also in the car and was later detained by police.

Mr. Asha is appealing the deportation order on the grounds of an innocent verdict in the trial, reports the British Press Association. His lawyer said the order was based on a lapsed visa during his pretrial imprisonment. But Asha wants to stay in Britain and continue his career as a doctor, and accuses the British government of "sour grapes."

The Times (of London) reports that Kafeel Ahmed, an Indian engineer, was the only casualty of a conspiracy to kill hundreds of people. Born in India, Mr. Ahmed studied in Belfast and became president of the Islamic society and later, while living in Cambridge, England, became a roommate of members of fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. In his will he wrote about "the call of jihad" and apologized to his mother for lying to her about his "project."

Ahmed was forced to return to India in June 2005 because of a family illness but returned to the UK twice in September 2006 and May 2007.
While overseas, Ahmed's plotting with Abdulla was revealed in series of late night web chat recovered from a laptop computer.
They revealed the two men discussing their terrorist plans, using in thinly veiled code about plans, projects and timetables.
At one point, Ahmed wrote: "Bro, inshallah, I think we are gonna start experiments sometime soon."
Abdulla replied: "Oh cool" and added a smiley face symbol.
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