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This Program is Captioned Live. Good evening. with an ABC news Good evening. Virginia Haussegger Government's crowing after winning with an ABC news update. The the support of the Reserve governor for its stimulus the support of the Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens dismissed governor for its stimulus spending. ballooning levels of debt Glenn Stevens dismissed worries abou declared the recovery well under ballooning levels of debt and

For homeowners, the RBA boss declared the recovery well under way indicated that could mean interest rates will soon have to Canberra's bigger clubs and pubs rates will soon have to rise. which serve drinks until the early

hours are going to have to pay more for the priviledge. The ACT Government's overhaul of licensing will see higher fees Government's overhaul of liquor large venues that open late. Tougher licensing will see higher fees for penalties for bar

alcohol to drunks and greater penalties for bar staff that serve for police. The flood crisis alcohol to drunks and greater powers Philippines is worsening with most for police. The flood crisis in the the capital, Manila, inundated. Philippines is worsening with most o Government says 100 people have the capital, Manila, inundated. The

in the floods and Government says 100 people have died been left homeless. Roman Polanski's in the floods and 451,000 people hav bizarre life has come full circle with his arrest in Switzerland on 30 year old

director who fled year old sex charges. The 76-year-ol trial is tonight in custody, director who fled to europe to escap extradition to the United trial is tonight in custody, fightin Canberra's weather - morning frost extradition to the United States. An then fine with one to Sydney - 21. Melbourne - 20. then fine with one to 17 degrees. - 23. More news in an Sydney - 21. Melbourne - 20. Adelaid

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to grab world attention. It was a plot guaranteed disguised in soft-drink bottles Seven planes, seven bombs, above the Atlantic Ocean. all set to explode in mid-air Murder on a massive scale. the upper echelons of plots I think this was among of post-9/11 plotting. that I have seen in the seven years

in terms of plotting I would put this level. at the Manchester United the worst terrorist attack We would have sustained in the United Kingdom's history. it wasn't just a home-grown plot. As an operation, al-Qaeda direction. There were indications that it had The bombs were almost ready, no plane tickets had been bought. were waiting for passports and two of the suspects

but the police still went in. There are some who now believe British authorities to act. the Americans forced

will show, As BBC reporter Peter Taylor the opportunity the timing may have jeopardised to convince a jury to gather more evidence this was a major conspiracy. SIRENS WAIL Facing justice, they intended to blow up aircraft. the plotters always denied the public Four admitted intimidating with videos threatening murder. of the plot got clean away. But the alleged coordinator He will go down. I was angry and disappointed. I hope he's watching. Tonight on Four Corners - the inside story the BBC's Panorama tells of Terror in the Skies. Plot had an unlikely beginning... The story of the so-called Airlines in Birmingham ..with a murder on a lonely street in the early hours of the morning. a 54-year-old delivery driver, Mohammed Sayed, vegetables he'd bought was returning home after dropping off from a market down south.

car were waiting for him to return. It's thought that two men in a Nissan he was attacked, As Sayed got out of his car and stabbed five times. pushed against the bonnet of his terraced house He staggered to the door and collapsed on the pathway. but it was too late. His family tried to resuscitate him When the police arrived on the scene, eyewitnesses to the attack. they found there were no the result of a family dispute. Detectives concluded it was of the dead man, Rashid Rauf. The main suspect was the nephew a very polite little boy Rashid Rauf was and a good boy and I always find him a polite boy family and very peaceful family and I think they are very good and they don't do anything wrong.

fled to Pakistan. Two weeks later, Rashid Rauf of terrorist investigations In the UK, the vast majority and MI-6 carried out by Scotland Yard, MI-5 lead back to Pakistan. Many of its teeming cities and towns of radicalisation. are the fountainhead When Rauf fled there in 2002, was already well under way, the war in Afghanistan following the US invasion after 9/11. drive al-Qaeda from its Afghan base. The aim - to topple the Taliban and across the border into Pakistan But al-Qaeda simply melted in the remote tribal areas. and established a new haven Al-Qaeda used to be on the run. is on the run any longer. I wouldn't say al-Qaeda are the sanctuary for al-Qaeda. The tribal areas in Pakistan today have sought refuge It is a place where they refuge and comfort. They plan there. and they have succeeded in gaining

have emanated from tribal areas And would the airlines plot Likely so, yes. where al-Qaeda is now based? Bin Laden is thought to be hiding The tribal areas are where Osama are made. and from where his pronouncements At the beginning of 2006, so-called airlines plot was devised, the year the police thought the and taped a warning. Bin Laden broke a long silence and the operations in Afghanistan TRANSLATION: Warning, Iraqi's regime are on the rise in our favour. Operations are under preparation on your own ground and you will see them once they are finished, God willing. five years earlier Bin Laden had shaken the world on New York. with his devastating attack were nothing new Messages from Bin Laden and he'd repeatedly made it clear at the very heart of America, that his intention was to strike which of course, he did here at the World Trade Center on 9/11. firmly in Bin Laden's sights Since then, America has remained

another method of attack. but al-Qaeda had to find After the meltdown of 9/11, security was dramatically increased.

Cabin doors were now locked and airport searches made even tighter. Future plotters would have to devise another way of evading airport security. This was tier one, A-level plotting among a group that was, I thought, sophisticated, driven, patient, operationally secure and I think they would have executed it, had they had the chance. By using everyday materials, it was suspected the bombers planned to hoodwink security and then once airborne across the Atlantic, put together their deadly bombs, probably in the toilets. Then they'd be ready for martyrdom. If they were blips on the radar screen that disappeared in the sky, I'm sure there would be serious economic loss to the airline industry. If they blew up in American cities or over American cities, they would have even more effect,

so it would have been catastrophic across the board. It wouldn't have been the first time al-Qaeda had targeted airlines in this way. In 1995, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, planned to blow up 11 airliners as they flew from Asia to the US.

Just three months after 9/11, a British Muslim convert, Richard Read, tried to blow up an aircraft flying from Paris to Miami with a bomb concealed in his shoe. That's why we often have to take off our shoes before going through security. In the wake of the London attacks of 2005, the security services were given more human and technical resources to increase surveillance on suspected Islamist extremists.

There were thought to be more than 1,000 of them. This young man was one. He was being watched as he went to meet a passenger arriving at Heathrow.

At the time the intelligence services didn't know the person's identity or that the woman with him was his new wife. They'd no idea what he was here to do but they were anxious to find out. All they knew was that he was flying in on a South African passport. The intelligence services now had two additional individuals to watch and investigate and the Americans were ready to help combat a common enemy that threatened them too. What the public is seeing is the beach of a major plot. What's behind that is tiny bits of sand, things again that happened three years ago - travel documents, pocket litter that allow analysts, thousands of analysts, trans-Atlantic analysts, to put together that beach. The beach is very hard to put together because it's one little tiny piece of sand at a time to ensure that you understand what the entire picture looks like. More grains of sand were added to the emerging picture when surveillance teams identified a flat in this terraced house, No. 386 in Walthamstow. The two men going inside were already under surveillance.

Their names were Ahmed Ali Khan and Tanvir Hussain, both 25. The most important grains of sand on the intelligence beach are, of course, people, individuals whom the intelligence services often refer to as persons of interest. The need to identify them begins at an ever earlier age and even in schools to detect and counter the first signs of radicalisation. Ahmed Ali Khan and two other members of the cell were pupils here at Aveling Park School in Walthamstow. Initially there was nothing special to single them out. And how do you remember them? Just normal boys, really. Ali was a very good sportsman. He was a bit of, bit of a lad. Bit big for his age. Nice lad. Typical 14-year-old. Walthamstow, with its population of more than 30,000 Muslims, is an emotional breeding ground for extremism. Most of them come from Kashmir. Here the notion of jihad is nothing new, given the conflict in their homeland. Today, it's but a short step to widen jihad's appeal. No wonder Walthamstow is high on MI5's watch list. Several of the bombers in the plot worked out at a gym in Walthamstow. It's part of a youth centre run by Hanif Qadir. I knew a lot of them, I knew Ahmed Ali Khan, yeah. What was he like? A very upstanding young man. Potential terrorist? Knowing Ahmed Ali Khan and the way he used to, well, the way I knew him, not at all. Hanif has first-hand experience of radicalisation,

as he once went to Afghanistan minded to become a jihadi. But once there, he thought better of it. He understands how seductive the message is. Waltham Forest is one of them areas where recruitment takes place and radicalisation takes place, but I would say that, you know, it wouldn't take much to radicalise any young person in Waltham Forest. So how do you stop young Muslims being radicalised? The answer is very simple. If we look around the world and we look at especially

the Western foreign policy in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, one - it doesn't take much to sort of frustrate any young person, especially a young Muslim. It was during classroom discussions that Mark Hough first realised that Ahmed Ali Khan might have a different agenda. He thought the Taliban and the way they were running the country was to be admired and we used to have quite a few interesting debates about that, about the role of women and about Sharia law and so on, things like that. He said that as a result of the Taliban taking over in Afghanistan, there was much less crime in Afghanistan than there was in the West. Women could go out safely. It was a much safer environment for children and women. Ali met Tanvir Hussain when they were both at college in Walthamstow. Tanvir Hussain?

Like I said, none of them, none of them who I knew absolutely, not at all. You know, you would not ever imagine that these guys would do such a thing. It's thought that Ahmed Ali Khan, the ringleader, first appeared on MI5's radar

whilst they were carrying out surveillance on this man. Salaam wa aleikum.

We have concealed his identity for legal reasons. He's seen here in this previous BBC documentary talking to a friend. The Americans suspect him of having links to al-Qaeda, but he's never been convicted or charged with any plot. Gradually the intelligence services began to identify other members of the cell as they watched Ali playing tennis in the local park with Tanvir Hussain and other friends. Ali was kept under close surveillance and watched for any unusual behaviour, like sitting in the middle of a park talking to somebody, well out of eavesdropping range.

The surveillance team had no idea who that somebody was. The surveillance team followed the mystery suspect all the way to High Wycombe, a Buckinghamshire town around 30 miles from Walthamstow. It's home to around 20,000 Muslims, again, like Walthamstow, the vast majority from Kashmir. The team soon found out that the target was 26-year-old Assad Sarwar who turned out to be the principal bomb-maker.

The intelligence services now calculated that the cell consisted of up to eight members, but what were they up to? They watched the suspects round the clock in an operation of unprecedented scale. They followed the suspects on shopping trips, to chemists, garden centres and supermarkets. One of the 27 surveillance teams watched Ali going to Tesco's.

He wasn't going to buy groceries. He ended up with six storage jars whilst repeatedly calling other members of the cell. Meanwhile in High Wycombe, Sarwar was shopping far and wide in search of hydrogen peroxide, the crucial liquid ingredient for the bomb. He was caught by a speed camera on one of his trips. He told suppliers he was opening a health shop and used a false name. Tanvir Hussain also shopped at Tesco's where he bought three bottles of Lucozade and several bottles of Oasis. Tanvir continued his rounds by calling in at the Co-op Pharmacy in Walthamstow where he asked about surgical needles. Do you have any surgical needles? What size? The biggest ones. Ali and Tanvir then paid a visit to another branch of Tesco's, where they showed an interest in disposable cameras. They then checked out toilet bags. Meanwhile, Sarwar was shopping in Woolworths in High Wycombe. He was buying a suitcase, but not to go travelling. All the time he was on his mobile talking to the cell leader Ahmed Ali Khan,

and some of the others. Surveillance teams kept seeing suspected members of the cell coming and going at the flat in the terraced house they were now watching in Walthamstow, but they'd no idea what the premises were being used for. The only way the teams could find out was by breaking in, an operation known in police speak as "the creep." And the creepers crept in with a night-vision camera. Once inside, they videoed the items that they'd seen Ali and Tanvir buying on their shopping expeditions.

But the surveillance team needed to know more. They installed a secret camera in the wall to transmit live pictures and sound,

although the position of the camera was less than perfect and cut off some of the picture. Ali and Tanvir had no idea they were being watched on a live video link.

They were now spending an awful lot of time in the kitchen, preparing the ingredients for the bomb. The surveillance team watched as they emptied the soft drink bottles. They then saw them inserting syringes in the base of the bottles to extract the soft drinks

before squirting in the hydrogen peroxide explosive mixture. They then injected a food colouring so that the bottle looked just like a normal soft drink. Ali and Tanvir didn't actually live at the bomb factory.

Their work done, they would go their separate ways. So how might the bomb have been put together? Well, we're not going to give you the precise details for obvious reasons but it might have been something like this. First of all, you need a detonator which is inserted in the bottle to set off the hydrogen peroxide mixture inside. Now the detonator could be a hollowed-out battery packed with a powerful homemade explosive. But also a tiny light bulb filament could be inserted in the detonator and attached to a power supply like a disposable camera, so when the power is switched on, the bulb heats up, the detonator explodes, thus triggering the liquid explosive in the bottle. I checked my words with scientists

at the government's secret research facility Fort Halstead, just to make sure we gave nothing away. Could this bomb have worked? If they had got everything right, then, yes, they could have made bombs that would have produced powerful explosions. Would a bomb in a bottle like that located in the right position in the aircraft

have been capable of bringing the aircraft down? A bomb in a bottle like that, if the composition was got right, would contain about half a kilogram of very powerful explosive, and if that was in the right position, then it has the potential, yes, to have devastating effects on the aircraft. We located the shell of an old passenger aircraft to demonstrate the likely effect of such a bomb using the same ingredients as the plotters. The police feared that if the bomb had gone off in a pressurised cabin at 30,000 feet the result would have been catastrophic.

The surveillance teams continued to monitor the daily comings and goings at the bomb factory round the clock. As they listened, their concerns grew as they heard numbers now being mentioned. One, two. Seven. There's another three, three dudes. There's another three more. Yeah, not as many people as we've got.

He said he's got about five. Is that right? 7, 8, 9, 10. 18. The surveillance team watched them hollowing out the batteries for the detonators and listened to what they said. They then heard them discussing the all-important ingredient, Sarwar's hydrogen peroxide. It's ready. Waiting for the HP. Sarwar's got to boil it down. He's got it, yeah? Enough for the mission. But the hydrogen peroxide was not in the bomb factory. Some of it was being stored by Sarwar in his garage in High Wycombe. But the intelligence services still didn't know what the targets were. They believed that following Ali might suggest a possible answer. He was seen entering an internet shop. They then watched him downloading airline timetables and writing down flight times. Ali seemed to be especially interested in the US carriers United and American. He also appeared to show an interest in Air Canada. He then saved the details on his memory stick. Suspicions seemed to be confirmed when Ali and Tanvir were heard discussing possible flight destinations. Definitely Washington, man.

I tell you what, Philadelphia, California. I said California. Texas. The security services believed the detonators were designed to explode in mid-air. The surveillance team overheard Ali and Tanvir discussing how they would be concealed in hollowed-out batteries. In each one we'll have three Ds. Do you have good ones? That's Ds for detonators. They then started talking about how many detonators would be needed for each bomb. There will be two in each one. Two, four, six, eight, 10, 12, 16, 17. We need to practise with these, man.

Don't want to have three days of, "Shit, it's not working out." Now, do you remember this man whom we saw earlier arriving at Heathrow with his wife? He's Mohammed Gulzar, wanted for questioning about a serious crime four years earlier. Gulzar took a considerable risk in returning to the UK with a false South African passport. The surveillance teams continued to track Gulzar and watched him texting and calling Pakistan. The Americans believed the key figure in the UK connecting Pakistan with the cell was Rashid Rauf.

to a particular individual, Rauf, There was a connection who is part of this network, things which I won't get into and I think that plus some other lead me to be quite convinced the al-Qaeda network. this is linked to the net - the plot was instigated in Pakistan So the police theory ran that to the cell in the UK. and channelled through Rashid Rauf in Walthamstow, Everything seemed to be going well at least so it seemed to the plotters being watched via a live camera. who'd no idea they were still Sarwar was busy. Meanwhile in High Wycombe, some of the hydrogen peroxide. He'd already boiled down from his garage A quantity was later recovered

to the right concentration. and found to have been boiled down a listening device in the flat The creepers had also installed as well as the camera. preparations This meant they could overhear for the so-called Martyrdom Videos. showed how it was done. Ali, the leader, we are people of Isa, we are brave. We Muslims are people of honour, Enough is enough. We're not cowards. We've warned you so many times leave us alone. to get out of our lands, to leave our land Because Osama warned you many times or you will be destroyed to be destroyed and now the time has come for you

but floods of martyr operation, and you have nothing to expect erupting amongst your capital. volcanoes of anger and revenge

know that I was over the moon Those that know me the opportunity that Allah has given me to lead this blessed operation. then faced the camera. Ali's number two, Tanvir Hussain, I dreamt of doing this, For many years doing this, I didn't have any means. but I didn't have no chance of I could do this again, you know, You know, I only wish

come back and do this again - And do it again and again to their senses and realise, until, you know, people come don't mess with the Muslims. realise how, you know, the warning signs grew. As July moved into August, summer holiday # RADIO: # We're all going on a they heard what was on the radio. The surveillance team laughed when # Fun and laughter on... # knew the plan, The intelligence services of the timescale. but to date they'd no idea had been booked So far no airline tickets obtained their new passports. and two of the suspects had not yet on Sunday night the 6th of August It was just after 10:00

of the conspirators began. when the countdown to the arrest 10 days earlier, Ali describing himself the surveillance team had overheard blessed operation. as the leader of this that the blessed operation Now there were growing fears might be about to begin. has given me the opportunity I was over the moon that Allah to lead this blessed operation. the beginning of this critical week, It was also believed that around woods carrying the suitcase Sarwar went into the High Wycombe and the spade he'd bought in Asda. he'd bought in Woolworths for making the bombs - Inside were key components a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide. thermometers, flasks, pipettes and under the roots of a tree. Sarwar concealed the suitcase By Monday the 7th of August and home secretary John Reid the intelligence agencies Cabinet colleagues. decided it was time to alert had to be put in the picture Transport secretary Douglas Alexander

were his responsibility. since airports that evening. His permanent secretary rang him in Scotland I was on holiday on the Isle of Mull I can't speak to you on an open line and the phone call basically said a security official but I need to send a very serious matter to brief you on that official up tomorrow. and we would like to send on the jetty So I then met the official in Scotland. overlooking the Isle of Mull On Tuesday the 8th of August, I was holidaying with my family we went back to the cottage in which and he gave me a full briefing that evening. of the alleged terror plot went off on holiday On Tuesday, prime minister Tony Blair villa in Barbados to stay at Cliff Richard's informed about any developments. but would have been kept fully By Wednesday morning he'd better get back to London. Douglas Alexander had decided landed close to MI-5's headquarters. The MoD sent a helicopter which Eliza Manningham-Buller Director-General was waiting to brief him. an alleged plot She explained that there was over the Atlantic, to bring down a number of aircraft of the suspects under way that there was surveillance judgment made, but there would be an executive by the police, an operational judgment at which to take action as to the right time who were under surveillance. against those individuals With the prime minister abroad otherwise engaged, and his deputy John Prescott was Home Secretary John Reid. the man left in charge closely day by day by this time We were looking at this pretty of our colleagues and counterparts and obviously speaking to some on the other side of the Atlantic. along than might have been thought The plot appeared to be further that we had to start considering earlier and that immediately meant response would be very carefully what our to prevent anything from happening. and Chertoff were conferring That Wednesday whilst Reid on a trans-Atlantic hotline, recorded in the bomb factory. another suicide video was being a Muslim convert from High Wycombe, It was now the turn of Umar Islam, some coaching. but first Ali was keen to give him You know what to say, innit? Yeah. Yeah, relax. speak normal English Don't try and speak posh English,

that you normally speak. And when you mention Allah, do that. When you're making a point, point away, yeah? Start now. You're not worried? It's not going to be long, sorry. Tell me when you're ready. When you're ready, yeah? Start now. Home and Away and Eastenders, You're too busy watching caring about the World Cup, drinking your alcohol, to care about anything. That's all you seem to care about and I know because I've come from that. This is a warning for the non-believers

that if they do not leave our lands there are many more like us

and many more like me ready to strike until the law of Allah is established on this earth. I say to you disbelievers, that as you bomb, you will be bombed. As you kill, you will be killed.

And if you want to kill our women and children, then the same thing will happen to you. This is not a joke. Earlier that Wednesday evening, phone calls and texts were winging their way between Walthamstow and Pakistan and vice versa. One text to Ali appeared to make a coded reference to hydrogen peroxide. The person who'd sent it was believed to be Rashid Rauf who'd fled to Pakistan after the murder of his uncle in Birmingham. There was also growing anxiety when there was intelligence that a dummy run was being planned for the end of the week, but politicians still didn't have the full picture. By early that Wednesday evening things were still relatively relaxed, so much so that John Reid was able to go to Stamford Bridge

and watch his beloved team. Celtics were playing Chelsea and I remember getting a message saying I may have to leave early, and then getting one saying I had to leave and I came back to the office to find out that there had been developments that led us to believe that there might be a heightened chance of this attack taking place. A startling piece of news suddenly came out of the blue. Rashid Rauf had been arrested in Pakistan. The fear was that once word reached the cell through the mobile phone bush telegraph, the plotters would go to ground and destroy the evidence. There have since been conspiracy theories that President Bush ordered Rauf's arrest to speed up the British response, fearing that an airlines plot would mark the end of his presidency as 9/11 had marked the beginning. Did the president say, "I want this closed down as soon as possible, I'm not prepared to take a risk?" You know, I don't remember the president having a particular statement along those lines. It was understood on both sides of the Atlantic that we needed to bring the case to resolution before there was a serious prospect that it might become active.

In Washington, I spoke to a senior official in the White House who attended all the meetings with the president concerning a supposed airlines plot. That person assured me that no such words ever passed the president's lips. Nevertheless, I did establish that the Americans did play a crucial role in the arrest of Rauf. They wanted him taken out of the picture. The CIA became worried when Rauf was tracked travelling to the town of Multan, a well-known route to Pakistan's tribal areas and Afghanistan. If they were going to disappear, or were going to, they were going to enter into an area where our ability to surveil them and apprehend them is going to become compromised, then, yeah, you have to move

before you lose the opportunity to catch the person. So would one of your agencies like the CIA have warned the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI, that they'd better move and arrest Rauf now before he disappeared? If we had any reason to believe that someone might disappear, we'd obviously want to give a heads up so to speak to our partners. Did you and your colleagues in the American intelligence community help the Pakistanis locate Rashid Rauf? I don't think I'll comment on that.

I think you did, didn't you? I think that Rauf was arrested because your colleagues in the American intelligence community helped the Pakistanis locate him because you wanted Rashid Rauf arrested, because he was a bad guy. He is a bad guy, I think, but I don't think I'll talk about intelligence co-operation with foreign services. From Panorama's investigation in America and the UK, there's no doubt that it was the arrest of Rashid Rauf that finally triggered the arrests in London, despite Scotland Yard's denial that its hand was forced. In Whitehall at 9:30 on Wednesday evening, the government's crisis committee, Cobra, met at the Cabinet Office. Attended by ministers, senior civil servants, MI-5, police, and the military.

There was an air, I think, both of tension but of determination. There was a new and significant emerging threat in terms of liquid explosives and that it was necessary for us to take whatever steps were required to protect the travelling public from that new and emerging threat. Meanwhile, as Cobra met in crisis session, in the car park of Walthamstow town hall, Ahmed Ali Khan was saying his evening prayers as he'd missed them earlier. Assad Sarwar, the bomb maker, was with him. The police moved in, wary that Ahmed Ali Khan might have explosive materials in his possession. Do you have anything on you or in the area that could cause injury? No, absolutely not. I've nothing to say. Whose is this? It's mine. Contains holiday destinations to America. And what's this? The diary's mine. Ali's notebook contained a to-do list - batteries, drink bottles, lucozade, HP. And what's all this about? Can't remember what that is. The police then turned their attention to Assad Sarwar. Do you know this man? I've known him for about three years. Anything in your car? A camcorder, it's mine. Have you used it?

No, he has. In the camcorder in the boot of Sarwar's car was the still-warm tape of Umar Islam's martyrdom video. In Ahmed Ali Khan's pocket the police found the memory stick he'd used in the internet shop to download trans-Atlantic flight times.

Mohammed Gulzar was arrested just before midnight. I'm not saying anything unless I get a solicitor! Right, get him up! He was taken away for questioning and it was only after several days that his true identity became clear.

The intention had been to make arrests a few days later. But with Rauf's detention in Pakistan, the operation was suddenly brought forward to the consternation of some senior officers. On Friday the 10th of August, all the main suspects were now in custody

and charged with conspiracy to murder, including Ahmed Ali Khan, Mark Hough's former pupil at Aveling Park School. Were you surprised when Ahmed Ali Khan was arrested? First I was, but then looking back I thought, "Well, you know, it fits in with some of the things that he said when he was younger," and he'd obviously gone down a particular pathway where, if you like, the love for Muslims and the love for his religion had, in a way had turned into hatred of something else. Our story began with the murder in Birmingham.

But what happened to the prime suspect, Rashid Rauf,

after he'd been arrested in Pakistan? It's an astonishing story, just like something out of the Keystone Cops. I've seen a US intelligence document that explains what happened.

It says that Rauf was returning to prison after appearing in court accompanied by a police escort and his uncle. They stopped off at this McDonalds drive-in for a break and then they moved onto this mosque where Rauf was allowed inside to say his prayers. He then ran out of the back door and disappeared. The document concludes that Rauf, at large, remains a threat to Pakistan and to Britain. Is Rauf at large a threat? I'd say yes, sure. You have an individual involved who was involved in planning a terrorist act. At a minimum they carry with them the expertise that they had at the time we arrested them. What was your reaction when you heard that Rashid Rauf had escaped? Anger and disappointment. And escaped in the way that he did, he ran out of the back of a mosque. Anger and disappointment. Surprise? I can't say I was surprised. I have no doubt that Rashid Rauf will be caught again. I look forward to that day. I was angry and disappointed. He will go down. And I hope he's watching. Mohammed Gulzar was acquitted. The jury believed his evidence that he knew nothing about the plot. Ali Khan, Hussain and Sarwar were convicted. Those who'd made suicide videos admitted conspiracy to cause a public nuisance by threatening murder. The conspirators said the videos were part of a propaganda documentary. Ali said he intended to post it on the internet after planning what he described as small bangs at the House of Commons or at Heathrow Terminal 3. It's a shame. It's a huge waste of young people. You know, it's a group of young people who had their whole life to look forward to... ..have lost basically, you know, their youth and their future. It's a shame. It's a shame for the community. It's a shame for us as Muslims and it should never happen. But the central problem for the intelligence services,

government and society at large is how to prevent it happening, how to ensure young Muslims don't leave their families and communities to follow the road to violent jihad. It's no coincidence that the young Muslims from the cell here in Walthamstow and High Wycombe were described as normal young men from normal families. Yet despite the mass of evidence gathered for the trial, no one knows how, why and where they were radicalised. The process of radicalisation remains a glaring gap in our knowledge and until some of those questions are answered, it seems likely that this plot may not be the last.

Would you expect al-Qaeda to try again? Absolutely. Now, do I think they're going to use the same plot? I can't tell you that. Do I think that they will continue to try large scale attacks against the United States, large scale attacks against Europe? I have no doubt about it. Every single piece of intelligence I have seen in the past seven years - and there is a lot of it - tells me one thing, and that is this adversary is committed. They're smart, they're ideologically driven. They have one mission in life. They will never return to own a tea shop and they'll never return to their families. They will go until we get them. Closed Captions by CSI .