LONDON, (Reuters) – An Iraqi doctor was jailed for 32 years on Wednesday for trying to blow up car bombs in central London and at a packed Scottish airport a day later.
Bilal Abdulla, 29, was convicted on Tuesday of being part of a small Islamist cell that had planned a series of spectacular bombings but turned to a dramatic suicide ram-raid attack on Glasgow Airport when their initial plans failed.
Abdulla, along with accomplice Kafeel Ahmed, an Indian engineer who died of injuries sustained in the Glasgow attack, had wanted to punish the British people for Britain’s role in Afghanistan and particularly Iraq, prosecutors said.
In the London attacks, the men tried to detonate two Mercedes cars packed with gas canisters, fuel containers and nails which were left by a nightclub and a bus stop in the West End area of the capital in the early hours of June 29, 2007.
The next day, the bombers drove a Jeep Cherokee, also packed with fuel containers and gas canisters, at speed into the international terminal at Glasgow Airport on what was its busiest day of the year.
Woolwich Crown Court heard the men wanted to commit murder on an “indiscriminate and wholesale scale” and only failed because of luck and technical mistakes in making the bombs.
Abdulla, who was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions, was told he would serve a minimum of 32 years, the Press Association said. He had denied plotting to kill anyone and told the court he “loved England” and thought they were going to Glasgow to flee the country. His co-accused Jordanian doctor Mohammed Asha, 28, who was accused of providing guidance and funding for the attacks, was cleared of the same charges.