[QODLink]
Archive
Shoe-bomb conspirator gets 13 years

A British judge has imposed a 13-year prison sentence on a man who admitted conspiring to blow up a US-bound plane with explosives hidden in a shoe.

Last Modified: 22 Apr 2005 19:05 GMT
Saajid Badat had backed out of helping Richard Reid

A British judge has imposed a 13-year prison sentence on a man who admitted conspiring to blow up a US-bound plane with explosives hidden in a shoe.

Prosecutors said they thought Saajid Badat had backed out of an alleged plot with Richard Reid, who was subdued by passengers when he attempted to detonate a bomb aboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on 22 December 2001.

Judge Adrian Fulford, sentencing him on Friday, commented that "turning away from crime in circumstances such as these constitutes a powerful mitigating factor. It can take considerable courage to plead guilty to offences of this kind."

First major conviction

Badat's guilty plea in February was the first major conviction for a terrorist plot in Britain since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States.

British convicts are typically eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, so Badat could be free in a little more than eight years.

Fulford said Badat had been part of a plot to commit a "wicked and inhuman crime" that would have killed hundreds of people.

"Sitting in the civilised and muted surroundings of the Old Bailey, it is easy to forget exactly what you planned," he told Badat.

Change of heart

But the judge said he thought the would-be terrorist had had a genuine change of heart. He said he balanced the need for strong deterrents in terrorism cases with Badat's evident remorse.

Fulford said he hoped the sentence would send a message to others considering terrorism that a decision to turn away from violence would benefit them in court.

Had Badat been convicted at trial without pleading guilty, the judge said, he would have recommended a sentence of at least 50 years.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list