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British terrorist case sees guilty pleas

July 14, 2008 at 10:19 AM

LONDON, July 14 (UPI) -- Three men accused of planning a series of suicide missions on transatlantic flights pleaded guilty Monday in a British court.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, Assad Sarwar, 28, and Tanvir Hussain, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause the explosions and conspiring to cause a public nuisance by distributing videotapes threatening suicide attacks in Britain, The Times of London reported. Two other co-defendants, Ibrahim Savant, 27, and Umar Islam, 30, also pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance.

The five men, plus three others, still will go to trial on a charge of conspiring to murder thousands of people in a series of terrorist explosions aboard transatlantic planes using homemade liquid bombs, the Times said.

Prosecutors allege the men planned to detonate the bombs -- disguised as soft drinks -- on passenger jets flying from London Heathrow Airport to North American cities, the BBC reported.

In summing up the prosecution's case, Peter Wright told the Woolwich Crown Court the eight men had wanted to "achieve immortality and notoriety in equal measure."

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