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UK court convicts 3 charged in transatlantic airline bombing plot

[JURIST] A UK jury found three men guilty of conspiracy to murder [Metropolitan Police press release] after plotting to blow up transatlantic flights using liquid explosives [JURIST news archive]. The three men, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Assad Sarwar, and Tanvid Hussain, were part of a larger plot allegedly organized by British national Rashid Rauf, arrested in Pakistan. Four other suspects were not convicted and two more must be retried after the juries could not decide upon their guilt. Scotland Yard said the case involved the most evidence that has ever been brought against a suspect at a terrorism trial. All three are expected to receive their sentences [Guardian report] on September 14.

The suspected plot, which British authorities announced they had foiled [JURIST report] in August 2006, allegedly involved using liquid explosives disguised as beverages to blow up jets bound for North America from Heathrow Airport. Shortly after those arrests, UK Home Secretary John Reid told journalists that the threat of terrorism required balancing individuals' civil liberties [JURIST report] against the "collective right to security."

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