Nov 3 2013
The mastermind behind the 'liquid bomb plot' - one of the largest terrorist plots ever discovered in Britain - is making a bid to have his conviction overturned on human rights grounds.
Abdulla Ahmed Ali developed a home-made hydrogen peroxide bomb that could be disguised as a soft drink through airport security and assembled on board.
The discovery of his suicide plan in 2006 led to urgent international restrictions on carrying fluids on aircraft.
Ali is taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights to claim his human rights were infringed by publicity before being convicted of conspiracy to murder.
He argues that the jury would have been prejudiced by coverage of a previous trial.
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, told The Sunday Telegraph the case highlighted why there was an urgent need for reforms to human rights laws, and how the Strasbourg court was increasingly willing to interfere in Britain's justice system.
"This yet a further example of why things cannot go on as they are", he said.
"It is unacceptable to have a situation in which claims to the European Court of Human Rights are actually being used to undermine our justice system.
"Our justice system is one of the best in the world and the Strasboug court has no business telling us how to run it."
However, the court cannot directly quash the conviction but could pave the way for Ali to make a fresh appeal in the British courts.
Ali recruited friends and associates to act as suicide bombers as part of his plot uncovered in 2006.
The group recorded martyrdom videos at a flat in Walthamstow, east London.
Ali singled out seven flights to San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, New York and Chicago that departed within two-and-a-half hours of each other.
If successful, the explosions could have exceeded the carnage of the September 11 attacks, his trial heard.
He was sentenced to life.