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The brother and sister of a British terrorist were cleared of complicity in his plan to blow up an Israeli nightclub.
Zahid and Parveen Sharif, whose brother Omar was one of two Britons who attacked Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv in April 2003, were acquitted Monday by London's Old Bailey Court. Sharif's partner blew himself up, killing three Israelis, but Sharif's bomb failed to detonate and he fled the scene. He was discovered several days later drowned at sea.
One of the prosecutors in the case said Sharif, 27, sent his family a 'final farewell message' on April 22, 2003, eight days before he allegedly tried to blow himself. Authorities say Sharif's explosives apparently malfunctioned and he fled, but his accomplice Asif Hanif, 21, detonated his bomb, killing himself and three others and wounding 50.
Sharif's body was found floating in the sea off the coast of Israel 12 days later. Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said an autopsy indicated he had drowned, but the circumstances of the death were not clear.
The British court found that there was insufficient evidence that e-mails sent by Sharif to his siblings constituted advance notice of a terrorist plot, and they therefore couldn't be convicted of failing to inform authorities.
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