Canadian jailed over UK bomb plot

A Canadian software developer convicted of involvement in a foiled fertiliser bomb plot in Britain has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail.

Momin Khawaja was found guilty in October 2008 by a judge in Ontario. He was tried without a jury.

The court was told that he was a co-conspirator of five men who were jailed for life in April 2007 for a UK bomb plot linked to al-Qaeda.

Legal experts regarded the trial as a test of Canada's anti-terror laws.

'Hi-fi digimonster'

Khawaja, who had denied all seven charges related to terrorism and explosives use, was arrested in March 2004 in a joint UK-Canadian operation and was accused of planning to attack the UK.

The judge ruled in October that he had knowingly participated in the foiled plot against several British targets, including a shopping centre, nightclub and the gas network.

As well as five terrorism offences, he was also found guilty of two separate criminal charges of having worked on a device to activate a bomb detonator and possessing an explosive substance.

The court was earlier told he had been part of a plan to detonate a 600kg bomb which would have caused "massive" loss of life.

Khawaja designed a remote bomb detonator which he called the "hi-fi digimonster", prosecutors said.

He was also accused of attending a paramilitary training camp in Pakistan.

However, Justice Douglas Rutherford said in his 52-page decision that Khawaja may have not known the specifics of the plot.

In February 2004, Khawaja appeared on the radar of the security services who already had the British fertiliser bomb plot conspirators under surveillance.

When he arrived at Heathrow airport he was met by Omar Khyam - one of the Britons convicted last year - who was under surveillance from specialist counter-terrorism officers.

One of the surveillance officers told the British plot trial they had no idea who the Canadian was, or what his role was in the plot.

But as Khyam drove off in his four-wheel drive vehicle, the officers listening in heard him and the Canadian discuss a remote-controlled device designed to trigger the bomb the men were planning.

He was later arrested and charged in Canada.

The new Canadian law gives the government wider powers to keep intelligence information secret on national security grounds and limits defendants' access to evidence used against them.

Khawaja may have not known the specifics of the plot, a judge ruled


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