3 British men convicted in terror plot

LONDON — They were very ordinary would-be terrorists, with big plans but bad luck.

On Thursday, a jury convicted three young British men — including an unemployed pharmacy graduate nicknamed Chubbs — of being ringleaders of an Al Qaeda-inspired plot to explode knapsack bombs in crowded parts of Birmingham, England’s second-largest city.

The men had pleaded not guilty, but were recorded discussing plans for attacks.


A jury at Woolwich Crown Court in London found 27-year-old Ashik Ali; Irfan Khalid, also 27; and 31-year-old Irfan Naseer — nicknamed Big Irfan, or Chubbs — guilty of multiple counts of preparing for terrorism.

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Judge Richard Henriques told the men they face life in prison when sentences are imposed in April or May. ‘‘It’s clear that you were planning a terrorist outrage in Birmingham,’’ the judge said.

But the men failed — thanks in part to official surveillance and their own incompetence.

Prosecutors said Naseer and Khalid traveled to Pakistan for training, learning the details of poisons, bomb-making, and weaponry, and made ‘‘martyrdom videos’’ justifying their planned attacks.

Associated Press