UK Gives Liquid Bomb Plotters Life in Prison
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2009 9:34 AM CDT
This is an undated Metropolitan Police picture of Abdulla Ahmed Ali, who was convicted Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, of conspiring to blow up trans-Atlantic flights with liquid bombs.   (AP Photo/Metropolitan Police/PA)
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(Newser) – The three men convicted of plotting to smuggle liquid bombs onto trans-Atlantic flights all received life sentences in British court today, with minimum terms ranging between 32 and 40 years, the BBC reports. The judge said the attack aspired to “stand alongside” the 9/11 attacks, calling it “the most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction.”

The men sat impassively, displaying no emotion as the sentence was read. Their defense lawyers had argued that they had planned only small explosions as a political stunt, backed by a documentary about Western foreign policy. But the judge dismissed that argument, noting that the men had gathered enough material for 20 detonators. The 2006 plot, he added, had been costly, creating a “huge inconvenience for the traveling public,” who now face restrictions on liquids.