3 British Muslims Convicted in Foiled Trans-Atlantic Bomb Plot

LONDON -- A jury on Thursday convicted three British Muslims of conspiring to murder hundreds of people as part of a plot to blow up passenger planes flying over the Atlantic.

Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan and Waheed Zaman were found guilty Thursday at London's Woolwich Crown Court after a three-month trial. They will be sentenced Friday and face life imprisonment.

Prosecutors say the men were part of a group that planned to detonate liquid explosive bombs hidden in soft drink bottles on aircraft bound for the United States and Canada in 2006, an attack that could have killed people on the scale of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The plot was broken up when suspects were scooped up in raids in London and the surrounding area in August 2006.

This was the third trial of the three defendants. Two earlier juries failed to reach verdicts on charges of conspiracy to murder. They were acquitted at an earlier trial of knowing that airplanes were the plot's target, but prosecutors said they had prepared to become suicide bombers and recorded "martyrdom" videos.

The men had argued that the videos were part of an elaborate publicity stunt.

Prosecutor Sue Hemming said the trio "were involved in a calculated and sophisticated plot to create a terrorist event of major proportions, working alongside others who were determined to bring down aircraft using homemade explosives, causing the maximum possible loss of life."

"They were cleared in the previous trial of being aware of the ultimate targets of the plot, but we say that they were committed to the principle and practice of violent jihad to the point of targeting innocent people in an attempt to further their cause."

Three other men, described as the group's ringleaders, are serving long sentences for the plot.

The plot grounded hundreds of flights and led airline authorities to put strict restrictions on the quantity of liquids passengers can in their luggage -- limits that remain in place.