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Jury begins deliberations in trans-Atlantic airliner bomb plot case

A jury in Britain started deliberating Monday in the case of eight men accused of plotting to blow up at least seven trans-Atlantic airliners bound for the United States and Canada. The men planned to attack United Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada flights at the height of the 2006 summer vacation season, prosecutor Peter Wright told jurors during the case, which began in April. All the suspects deny the most serious of the charges, which include conspiracy to murder. Their attorneys say the never meant to kill anyone, but planned a publicity stunt to gain attention. Wright said the men planned to assemble bombs in airplane toilets using hydrogen peroxide-based explosives smuggled on board inside soda bottles. The case led to tight new restrictions on the amount of liquids and gels passengers can carry on to flights. The new rules caused huge disruptions to British airports and hundreds of flights were grounded across Europe when police arrested the suspects in August 2006.