LONDON (AP) – An Iraqi doctor who claimed he intended only to frighten Britons was convicted Tuesday of conspiracy to murder with car bombs in London and Scotland.
Bilal Abdulla, 29, was also convicted on a charge of conspiring to cause explosions both in central London and at Glasgow airport. His co-defendant, Jordanian neurologist Mohammed Asha, 28, was acquitted on the same charges.
Explosives packed in three different vehicles failed to explode in all cases. Kafeel Ahmed, a 28-year-old Indian who attacked Glasgow airport in Scotland with an explosives-laden Jeep, died of burns.
London police discovered two Mercedes loaded with explosives on June 29 last year. One was left near the “Tiger Tiger” nightclub in central London and the other was left at a nearby bus stop. They failed to explode and no one was injured.
The explosives in both cars were discovered accidentally, one when paramedics saw a car emitting smoke, the other after the car had been towed away for a parking violation.
The incident at Glasgow airport followed the next day. Ahmed tried to drive the Jeep through a pedestrian entrance. When he failed, he lit petrol bombs and set fire to the vehicle.
Abdulla, a Sunni Muslim born in Britain but raised mainly in Iraq, testified that he was outraged by the violence in Iraq following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. “I wanted the public to taste what is going on, for them to have a taste of what the decisions of their democratically elected murderers did to my people,” Abdulla testified. “I wanted to challenge the government’s proposal that war brings peace, that pre-emptive strikes will bring peace to this country,” he said.
Asha has denied taking any part in a plot. Both men were employed by Britain’s National Health Service.
Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said a laptop pulled from the wrecked vehicle contained what appeared to be a draft of Abdulla’s will. He said the document was addressed to the leaders of jihad in Iraq, to Osama bin Laden, and to the brothers or soldiers of jihad in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Palestine and other areas of the world.
“The terms in which it is written, we submit, expose that the defendant’s position in his trial before you is a lie,” Laidlaw told jurors.