LONDON – It was a busy day in Britain's crackdown on terror: A suspect in failed bomb attacks on the London transit system appeared in court. A Muslim convert was sentenced to 15 years in a separate case. And police arrested a man near planes at Manchester airport and exploded his suitcase.
Also, the wife of one of the four suspected July 7 (search) homicide bombers said in an interview published Friday that her late husband was a "naive" man whose mind was poisoned by his contacts with Britain's radical mosques.
A day after his extradition from Italy, Ethiopian-born Hussain Osman (search), charged in the July 21 attempt to bomb the London Underground, made his first appearance at the high-security court at Belmarsh prison.
Osman, also known as Hamdi Isaac, seemed calm as he stood behind thick glass, guarded by four bailiffs at the back of the courtroom. He spoke briefly, confirming his name and saying that he understood the proceedings. A magistrate denied Osman's bail application and set his next court appearance for Dec. 8.
The hearing came after Osman lost a two-month legal battle to avoid extradition from Italy to face British charges including conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives. He was flown to London on Thursday.
Osman allegedly fled to Italy in the days after the bombings and was arrested in Rome. He has said through his lawyer that the bombing attempt was meant to scare people, not kill them.
Osman is believed to have been the man captured on closed-circuit television footage attempting to bomb the Shepherd's Bush subway station July 21. Three other men — Ibrahim Muktar Said (search), 27, Ramzi Mohamed (search), 23, and Yassin Omar (search), 24, all from London — are in jail awaiting a November court appearance.
No one was killed in the four near-simultaneous attempted attacks, which came two weeks after the July 7 blasts that killed 56 people, including the bombers.
As that case got started, another was came to close.
In London, court convicted Andrew Rowe (search), 34, of having a notebook containing details on how to fire a mortar and a code that could be used to communicate about potential terror targets. Justice Adrian Fulford sentenced Rowe to consecutive sentences of 7 1/2 years on each of two counts.
"You were a paid operative over a substantial period of time, traveling the world and furthering the cause of Muslim fundamentalism," the judge said.
Rowe — who converted to Islam after a troubled youth and reportedly made trips to Morocco, Pakistan and Afghanistan — was arrested in October 2003 near the tunnel that runs under the English Channel, connecting Britain and France.
Prosecutors said traces of high explosives were found on a pair of socks in his luggage on the French side of the Chunnel, but they never linked him to a specific terrorist plot.
Meanwhile, in the Manchester airport arrest, an unidentified man was seen carrying a suitcase and walking under a plane, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. A bomb squad later carried out a controlled explosion of the suitcase, which turned out to contain only clothing, papers and a passport, police said.
Police initially detained the man under anti-terrorism legislation, but a spokesman said later that his status had changed and he was now being held under the Mental Health Act.
The arrest caused several flights in and out of the airport to be delayed briefly, National Air Traffic Services said. The airport, which serves more than 19 million passengers per year, says it ranks as the 12th busiest in Europe.
Speaking to The Sun tabloid, the wife of one of the July 7 bombers, Jermaine Lindsay (search), said her husband had fallen under the influence of radical mosques in Luton and London. Samantha Lewthwaite, whose husband also used the name Jamal, did not identify any mosque by name.
"How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful," the newspaper quoted her as saying. "He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate.
"He was so angry when he saw Muslim civilians being killed on the streets of Iraq, Bosnia, Palestine and Israel — and always said it was the innocent who suffered."
Lindsay is suspected of detonating the bomb that killed 26 people and himself on the Piccadilly Underground line. British tabloids often pay people for interviews, but it wasn't immediately clear if the newspaper paid Lewthwaite.
Lewthwaite, 21, who like her husband was a convert to Islam, gave birth to the couple's second child, a daughter, on July 22, 15 days after the bombings. Their son is now 17 months old.
"Jamal is accountable for his actions 100 percent and I condemn with all my heart what he has done," Lewthwaite was quoted as saying. "I will try to remember for my children's sake the Jamal I loved and raise them knowing their father was a man who truly loved them. But the day will come when I'll have to tell them what he did."