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London bomb conspirator sentenced

Man who ditched his device gets 33 years in failed 2005 attack.

November 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

LONDON — One member of a group that conspired to detonate suicide bombs on the London transport system in 2005 was sentenced Tuesday to 33 years in prison.

Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 34, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to cause explosions. Prosecutors said he lost his nerve and dumped a backpack containing his device in a park. It was shown to the jury as evidence.

A jury convicted four men of conspiring to murder in July but was unable to agree on verdicts for Asiedu and Adel Yahya.

The charges stemmed from failed attempts to detonate explosives on London subway trains and a bus on July 21, 2005 -- two weeks after four bombers killed themselves and 52 commuters in the city.

At the earlier trial, Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Hussain Osman were sentenced to minimum terms of 40 years in prison after being convicted of conspiring to murder.

All six defendants had denied the charges, saying the devices were duds and calling their actions a protest against the Iraq war. But police and prosecutors said tests proved the bombs were viable. They do not know why they failed to explode.

Ibrahim, Omar, Mohammed and Osman attempted to set off their bombs on three subway trains and a bus in an echo of the July 7 attacks, prosecutors said.

During the trial, Asiedu turned on the others and said Ibrahim, the gang's self-proclaimed leader, had wanted the attacks "to be bigger and better" than the July 7 bombings.

Yahya, who had left Britain for Ethiopia before the attacks, was sentenced Monday to more than six years in prison after admitting that he collected information likely to be useful to terrorists.

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