London suicide bomb plot suspect pleads guilty

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LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) An African man today pleaded guilty to helping to plot al Qaeda-inspired botched suicide bombings on London's transport system on July 21, 2005.

Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, who was born in Ghana, admitted a charge of conspiracy to cause explosions over the failed bombings.

The attacks were attempted two weeks after four British Islamists killed 52 people in suicide bombings on three underground trains and a bus in the capital.

Four men -- Muktah Said Ibrahim, Yassin Hassan Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Hussein Osman -- tried to detonate hydrogen peroxide-based bombs on July 21, but their homemade devices failed to explode and no one was killed.

They were all jailed in July for a minimum of 40 years but a jury failed to reach a verdict against Asiedu and another man, Adel Yahya.

Yahya was jailed for nearly seven years earlier this week after pleading guilty to a lesser offence.

Asiedu was due to face a re-trial starting next Monday and will now be sentenced on Nov. 19. Prosecutors said he faces a life sentence.

Asiedu was supposed to be carrying a fifth bomb on the day but ended up dumping the rucksack with his device in a park in north London. He denied losing his nerve and said he just wanted to get rid of the bomb.

A few days after the failed attacks he handed himself into police and admitted in court that he then lied to detectives on an ''epic scale''.

During the trial he dramatically turned on his co-conspirators, contradicting their defence that the plot was a hoax, designed as a publicity stunt, meaning he had to be seated separately from the other accused in the dock.

His lawyer said that Asiedu had returned to the flat where the bombs were made to remove the hydrogen peroxide and added his client had dismantled a booby-trapped sideboard which could have destroyed the entire apartment block.

The basis of Asiedu's guilty plea was that he had bought the hydrogen peroxide for the bombs, his lawyer said.


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