Arafat Waheed Khan, Ibrahim Savant and Waheed Zaman jailed for life in London, England

THREE MEN who plotted to become suicide bombers and kill innocent members of the public have today been jailed for life, to serve a minimum of twenty years each, after being found guilty of conspiracy to murder.

Woolwich Crown Court heard that although they may not have been aware of the intended target, Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman conspired with Abdullah Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar, Tanvir Hussain, to murder persons unknown.

Ali, Sarwar and Hussain were convicted of plotting to smuggle liquid bombs on board trans-Atlantic aircraft following a trial last year.

The convictions come as part of Operation Overt, one of the biggest investigations ever carried out by the MPS, which saw multiple arrests carried out overnight on 9 and 10 August 2006.

All three were arrested at their home addresses: Ibrahim Savant, age 29, at Denver Road, N16; Arafat Waheed Khan, age 29, at 71 Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow; Waheed Zaman, age 26, at Queen’s Road, Walthamstow, E17.

Searches were carried out which uncovered significant items including a digital tape containing the suicide videos relating to Savant, Khan and Zaman.

The videos were recorded against a backdrop of a black flag and all contained threats to the public. For example Khan states in his video: "We will rain upon you such a terror and destruction that you will never feel peace and security." All three claimed the videos were simply spoofs, and pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance at a previous trial in 2008.

However, the jury was presented with additional evidence, that all three either already had, or were making applications for fresh passports and had attempted to secure loans or empty their bank accounts.

In addition all three had been seen visiting a house on Forest Road in Walthamstow linked to Ali and Sarwar, the principal architects of the plot to blow up transatlantic airlines.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, Senior National Co-ordinator Counter Terrorism, said: "These three men claimed they recorded their martyrdom videos as part of a documentary, however when presented with all the evidence, the jury was satisfied that they were deadly serious in their intent and were party to the conspiracy to murder.

"The martyrdom videos; the instructions left for media to use them; the fresh passport applications; the loan applications and the forensic and surveillance links to Ali, Sarwar and the bomb factory all add up to a clear picture of intent.

"It has taken a long time to bring these men to justice, and the MPS Specialist Operations, the Crown Prosecution Services and British Security Service, showed huge commitment, dedication, determination and professionalism throughout the investigation and ensuing trials.

"The length of sentence reflects the serverity of their crime. Sadly this case also highlights that there are people out there who are intent on causing us harm."

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