Tuesday, November 7, 2006

He Couldn't Do The Crimes, But By God! He'll Do The Time

Would-be terrorist Dhiren Barot has been sentenced to life in prison, with no chance for parole for at least 40 years, after pleading guilty to "conspiracy to murder".

According to the prosecution, Barot (who -- depending on whom you believe -- was either a top al-Q'aeda agent or a member or close associate of al-Q'aeda) had been planning an enormous wave of terrorist attacks on targets including: IMF headquarters; the World Bank in Washington DC; the New York Stock Exchange building; Citigroup headquarters; the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey; Heathrow Express train service; London subway tunnels under the River Thames; London hotels including The Ritz and The Savoy; and British railway stations including Waterloo, Paddington and King's Cross.

As evidence, prosecutors presented notebooks, videos and computer files, which showed, among other things, that Barot had been studying the manufacture and use of poisons, bombs and other weapons of mass destruction.

According to the judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, Barot's plan was
designed to strike at the very heart of democracy and the security of the state.
As the BBC reported:
the prosecution did not dispute a defence assertion that no funding had been received for the projects, nor any vehicles or bomb-making materials acquired.
But this minor detail was not included in other reports, such as this one from CNN, which -- like many other reports -- quoted the prosecutor, Edmund Lawson, as having said that the plan to attack Britain
"was in its final stages."
And so once again we have apparently been rescued from a "full-time terrorist" with no weapons, no vehicle, no funding and no demonstrated ability to carry out any of his exceedingly ambitious plans.

I'm sure we will all sleep better tonight knowing that Barot will spend the rest of his life in prison, while his notebooks, videotapes, DVDs and computer hard drives are safely stored in a Scotland Yard evidence room.