Three British men have been sentenced for their role in a plot to blow up seven airplanes flying from Britain to the United States and Canada.
On July 12, 2010, Arafat Khan, Ibrahim Savant and Waheed Zaman, were sentenced in London to life in prison for planning to conduct coordinated suicide attacks. The men were among 14 people – mostly British nationals of Pakistani descent between the ages of 17 and 35 – arrested and charged in August 2006 by British police in connection with the planned attack. Seven others were previously sentenced for their roles in the plot.
The suspects allegedly identified seven flights from Britain to the U.S. and Canada as their targets and planned to simultaneously detonate bombs when the airplanes were over the Atlantic Ocean.
While the degree to which Al Qaeda was involved remains unclear, the planned attacks resemble several other Al Qaeda plots targeting American airlines, and several of the suspects were seemingly influenced by Al Qaeda.
The alleged plot resulted in heightened security measures at airports. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which oversees security for U.S. airports, has since imposed strict limits on carry-on items, including a ban on any liquid or gel exceeding 3.4 ounces. TSA has also enhanced other security measures at airports, including more random screenings of employees, rigorous identity verification and additional canine patrols.