May 07, 2009

Two jailed over terror training in UK

30 April 2009 | 09:12:35 AM | Source: AAP

A British court jailed two men on Wednesday for conspiring to attend a terrorist training camp, a day after they were cleared of helping to plan the July 2005 suicide bombings in London.

Waheed Ali, 25, Mohammed Shakil, 32 were jailed by Kingston Crown Court, which on Tuesday found them and Sadeer Saleem, 28, not guilty of helping the four suicide bombers who killed themselves and 52 others in the July 7 attacks.

Ali and Shakil have already spent two years in detention, which will be deducted from their seven-year jail terms.

The three men, who grew up in the same south Asian community in the northern English city of Leeds as July 7 bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shezhad Tanweer, were arrested in March 2007 and charged the following month.

During the trial, they admitted making a trip to London in December 2004 with the two other London bombers Hasib Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay, but insisted it was a "social outing".

The court heard that between 2001 and the London bombings, both Ali and Shakil made visits to Pakistan and attended terror training camps.

Ali visited the camps with Khan in 2001, and Shakil made a similar trip with Khan in 2003, where they were trained to use machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and assault rifles.

None of the men attempted to hide their support for jihad and the defence of Muslim lands during the trial, but all three said they did not support suicide bombings and were unaware of the July 7 attacks before they happened.

The July 7 attacks occurred as Group of Eight leaders were meeting in Scotland, and a day after a euphoric London celebrated winning the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games.