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Prosecuting Terrorism

Terrorism, race hate, crimes against humanity, war crimes, violent extremism, hijacking and espionage cases are tackled by a specialist team of Crown Prosecutors. The Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS includes highly experienced prosecutors, advocates and caseworkers who work closely with the police to bring offenders to justice.

Find out more about how we prosecute cases of terrorism.

Doctor Bilal Abdulla guilty of London and Glasgow bomb plot

16/12/2008

A plan to set off car bombs in London's West End was not aimed at scaring people but to kill and maim on a large scale, said Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division lawyer Karen Jones.

Bilal Abdulla was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and cause explosions. Co-accused Mohammed Asha was acquitted of both charges.

Mrs Jones said: "If you are planning to scare people you do not pack cars with petrol, gas and nails. If the cars had blown up those nails would not only have killed people but maimed others for life.

"It was extremely lucky for everyone that night that the bombs failed to go off - otherwise it is dreadful to imagine what might have happened. It is all the more shocking that one of those involved is supposed to save lives and heal the sick, not kill or endanger the lives of innocent people.

"Bilal Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed - who later died of his injuries - were the action men in this plot, buying the necessary gas canisters, petrol and mobile phones. The Crown said it was money and advice from Mohammed Asha that made it possible but after hearing all the evidence and his defence, the jury has found him not guilty of both charges."

After Kafeel Ahmed and his passenger Bilal Abdulla crashed a burning jeep into a terminal building at Glasgow Airport the next day, Mrs Jones said police and prosecutors were confronted with a plot which extended from London to Glasgow.

She said: "This case has seen the authorities in England and Scotland work closely together to bring those responsible to justice. Not only did both police forces pool information but the CPS Counter Terrorism Division worked with closely with the police and the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service put the case together.

"As the plot involved both countries, the question of where a trial should be held was raised. We were in complete agreement about the venue following discussions about the emerging case and we are grateful to our Scottish colleagues who worked tirelessly with us to ensure the jury was presented with a complete and coherent picture of what happened regardless of location. We would like to express our enormous thanks to them for this."

Ends

  1. For further information contact the CPS Press Office, 020 7796 8180.
  2. For more information on the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, contact Alison McInnes, 0844 561 3709
  3. A car parked outside Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket, London, failed to explode on 29 June 2007. A second car was found nearby in Cockspur Street.
  4. The next day, Kafeel Ahmed and Bilal Abdulla drove to Glasgow where they crashed a burning jeep at the airport's main terminal doors.
  5. Kafeel Ahmed died of his injuries on 3 August 2007.
  6. Mohammed Asha was arrested on the M6 motorway on 30 June 2007.
  7. Bilal Abdulla and Mohammed Asha were charged with conspiracy to murder, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and conspiracy to cause explosions, contrary to the Explosive Substances Act 1886.
  8. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
    • Preparing cases for court
    • Presenting cases at court
  9. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on the CPS website.
  10. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. The Protocol is published on our website at: