London, Apr.4 : A gang of British Muslims plotted to cause carnage "on an almost unprecedented scale" by detonating up to 18 suicide bombs on transatlantic passenger flights, a court has heard.
In what would have been the worst terrorist atrocity since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, the eight defendants planned to kill hundreds and possibly thousands of passengers "all in the name of Islam", reports The Telegraph.
The plotters were allegedly "almost ready" to carry out their plans to detonate liquid explosives on board at least seven flights from Heathrow to the US and Canada.
Their plans were allegedly so advanced that they had drawn up details of specific flights to be targeted and bought the components needed to make hydrogen peroxide bombs disguised as soft drinks such as Lucozade and Oasis.
But, they were arrested before they were able to make their violent and deadly statement.
The arrests in August 2006 led to a significant tightening of security at all UK airports, which still continues through restrictions on liquids carried in hand luggage.
In the dock are Abdul Ahmed Ali, also known as Ahmed Ali Khan, 27, Ibrahim Savant, 27, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, and Waheed Zaman, 23, all from Walthamstow, east London; Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Leyton, east London, Mohammed Gulzar, 26, of Barking; and Assad Sarwar, 27, and Umar Islam, also known as Brian Young, 29, both of High Wycombe, Bucks.
All eight deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit an act of violence likely to endanger an aircraft, between January 1 and August 11, 2006.