London SE1 website team

Al-Qaeda suspect convicted of plot to destroy Tower Bridge

An Indian court has found an Al-Qaeda suspect guilty of planning to crash an aircraft into Tower Bridge.

Mohammed Afroz Abdul Razzak has been sentenced to seven years in jail. A court in Mumbai heard that Afroz booked into a hotel near London's Heathrow airport just before the 11 September attacks in New York.

Prosecutors said the 30-year-old Muslim had spent considerable sums of money training as a pilot in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The court was told that Afroz and seven suicide accomplices booked on Manchester-bound flights but panicked and fled just as they were due to board. He was arrested in Mumbai in October 2001.

Indian judge AP Bhangale said Afroze was guilty of criminal conspiracy, forgery and "committing depredation on territories at peace with India".

Mobin Solkar, the lawyer defending Afroze, said that the conviction was not based upon legally admissible evidence.

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