|Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
Three Islamic extremists - or common criminals as we prefer to call them - have been found guilty of conspiring to kill people in a terrorist bombing campaign. They were members of an al Qaida-inspired terror cell, a jury at Woolwich Crown Court found. Abdulla Ahmad Ali,27, Assad Sarwar 28, and Tanvir Hussain, 27, also admitted plotting a series of small-scale bomb attacks which dominated the news two years ago.
Despite the convictions, counter terrorism officials are said to be dismayed at the outcome where one has escaped all convictions and none have been charged with targeting an aircraft. Prosecutors have till the end of the month to consider a retrial.
The eight accused:
Assad Ali Sarwar, 28
Assad was living with his parents and sister in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and was a university dropout and unemployed at the time of his arrest.
He has been convicted of conspiracy to murder and has admitted conspiracy to cause explosions and cause a public nuisance.
Not part of the suicide mission, his role was to be the distributor of the martyrdom videos after the attack. He also was responsible for research into oil refineries and power stations as other potential targets, as well as tracking down supplies of hydrogen peroxide for use in bomb-making. The chemical has been harder to procure after the 7/7 bombings in London.
Tanvir Hussain, 27
Born in Blackburn but moved to London when he was 6, meeting Ali at Waltham Forest College whilst studying A-Levels.
Hussain was convicted of conspiracy to murder and admitted to conspiracy to cause explosions and cause a public nuisance.
By 2003 he was a devout Muslim and began to demonstrate signs of extremism, becoming 'quite agitated' according to a work colleague after the 7/7 attacks in London, saying that those involved were 'being persecuted'.
Adulla Ahmed Ali, 27
Born in East London and lived in Walthamstow where he knew a number of his co-conspirators from his sixth form college.
Ali has been found guilty of conspiring to murder and has admitted conspiracy to cause explosions and to cause a public nuisance.
He travelled Pakistan widely, claiming many of these were to volunteer for an Islamic medical charity, but it has been revealed that he attended training camps and met senior figures in militant groups.
Ali took a leading role in the 'suicide tapes' uncovered by the police and was recorded planning to take his baby on the mission to reduce chances of suspicion. Prisoners at Belmarsh jail have described Ali as the 'emir' or the leader of the East London group.
Mohammed Gulzar, 27
Mohammed Gulzar arrived in Britain using a false identity and resided in Birmingham whilst also living for a while in Portsmouth.
Although described as a 'shadowy figure' by the prosecution, he was acquitted of all charges by the jury. It was claimed that he was a key player in the liquid bomb plot two years ago.
It is also expected that he will be questioned over a serious criminal offence in Birmingham in 2002. He left Britain after the alleged offence for Pakistan. In mid-2006 he moved to South Africa and married shortly before returning to the UK, telling his new wife that he was a religious missionary and giving her a false name.
Police discovered his real name from fingerprint records.
Four other men admitted a charge of conspiring to cause a public nuisance and the jury has been unable to reach verdicts on them in relation to the charges of conspiracy to murder. They may face a retrial.
They were Waheed Zaman, 24 from Walthamstow, northeast London; Umar Islam, 30, known as Brian Young before converting to Islam from High Wycombe Buckinghamshire; Arafat Waheed Khan, 27, born in Pakistan from London and Ibrahim Savant, 27 from Walthamstow, northeast London.