LONDON (AFP) — Only "good fortune" caused eight Islamic extremists who plotted to blow up airliners flying from London to North America to be stopped before executing their plan, a prosecutor said Monday.
The men, who deny two charges linked to an alleged plot to blow up planes mid-air using explosives in soft drinks bottles, wanted to bring terror to the skies "in a way that the world was unlikely ever to forget," Peter Wright said.
The 2006 case led to tough restrictions on the amount of liquids which passengers internationally could take on board planes in their hand baggage.
The comments came as prosecution lawyers at high-security Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London finished outlining their case on day three of the high-profile trial. They will now start calling witnesses.
"Each of them was a necessary component part; of those who had assembled in the UK ready, willing and able to play their part in this plot to try and bring terror to the skies in a way that the world was unlikely to ever forget," Wright told jurors.
"The fact that they were stopped before they were ready to put their plan into action is simply a matter of good fortune rather than a defence to the main charge of conspiracy."
The eight accused are: Abdulla Ahmed Ali, also known as Ahmed Ali Khan, 27, Assad Sarwar, 27, Tanvir Hussain, 27, Mohammed Gulzar, 26, Ibrahim Savant, 27, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, Waheed Zaman, 23, and Umar Islam, also known as Brian Young, 29.
Seven are from London, while Sarwar lives west of the British capital.
All deny two charges -- conspiracy to murder between January 1 and August 11, 2006 and conspiracy to commit an act of violence likely to endanger the safety of an aircraft between the same dates.
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