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Five members of a British al-Qaeda cell were jailed for life today for plotting to use fertiliser bombs to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre, the Ministry of Sound nightclub and other targets across the UK including gas and electricity supplies.
The ringleader of a plot that would have claimed hundreds of lives, Omar Khyam, was told that he would have to spend at least 20 years in jail - but all five men were warned that they may never be released.
"You have betrayed this country that has given you every opportunity," said Sir Michael Astill, QC, the judge at the Old Bailey. "All of you may never be released: it is not a foregone conclusion."
Sentencing, Judge Sir Michael Astill said that the plotters had planned to cause "indiscriminate death and suffering."
He told the plotters: "You have betrayed this country that has given you every opportunity."
David Waters QC said not everyone involved in the plot was before the court.
The solicitor for the convicted men, Imran Khan said his clients continued to protest their innocence.
He said the prosecution had been carried out in an "atmosphere of hostility against Muslims at here and abroad".
"It is not an offence to be young, Muslim and angry," he said.
The fertiliser bomb plot investigation linked back to senior al-Qaeda figures in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including one who was detained by US forces in Iraq at the weekend.
The men had started out sympathetic to Muslim causes around the world - but the key plotters decided that violence was the answer as they came together for secret military training camps in Pakistan.