British-Iraqi doctor gets life sentence for terror plot

Bilal Abdulla, 29, convicted of conspiring to murder hundreds of Britons.

uk police 88 (photo credit: )
uk police 88
(photo credit: )
A British-Iraqi doctor who led failed attempts to attack a London nightclub and a Scottish airport with nail-packed car bombs was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday. Bilal Abdulla, 29, had been convicted Tuesday of conspiring to murder hundreds of Britons and conspiring to cause explosions in two botched terrorist attacks last year. Justice Colin Mackay gave Abdulla a life sentence Wednesday, ordering him to serve a minimum of 32 years concurrently on each count and telling him he was a "religious extremist and a bigot." Police said Abdulla, a Sunni Muslim raised in Iraq but born in Britain who holds dual citizenship, carried out his attacks to avenge the deaths of friends and relatives in Iraq. In a first attempted attack, he and accomplice Kafeel Ahmed, a 28-year-old Indian engineering student, left two car bombs in central London in June 2007, hoping to kill and maim both young nightclubbers and rescue workers who would race to help them. A day later, the men rammed a blazing Jeep laden with gasoline and explosives into the departure terminal at Glasgow's airport. Ahmed suffered serious burns in the failed attack and later died. Mackay said he did not understand how a person trained as a doctor and sworn to uphold life could have done what Abdulla did. "Many people felt and still feel strong opposition to the invasion of Iraq," Mackay told Abdulla. "You have strong reasons for holding that view. But you were born with intelligence and you were born into a privileged and well-to-do position in Iraq and you are a trained doctor," the judge said.