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Britain's Dirty Bomber Sentenced to 40 Years

A British court has sentenced Muslim convert and al-Qaida operative, Dhiren Barot to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 40 years, after he pleaded guilty to plotting terrorist attacks in Britain and the United States.

Police followed the movements of British Muslim convert Dhiren Barot for some time and arrested him in August 2004.

Barot pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder charges last month and has been sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 40 years.

His plans were detailed and devastating - commit mass murder by setting off explosives and even a radioactive "dirty bomb" at major public sites and transport links in both the United States and in Britain, including the New York Stock Exchange, the World Bank and IMF in Washington, major hotels, and a train under the Thames River in London.

The plans were more than four years in the making, had been approved by senior al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan and were apparently in the final stages of being carried out, according to police records.

Prosecution service lawyer, Patrick Stevens, said, "The extent and potential impact of Barot's plans have been made graphically clear in court over the past two days. Fortunately, as a result of his timely arrest, subsequent conviction, his plans could not be carried out."

At sentencing, Judge Neil Butterfield said Barot had chosen to use his life to bring death and destruction to the Western world and slaughter hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent men, women and children.

Barot was born into an Indian Hindu family. He worked as an airline ticket agent in central London in the early 1990's, later converted to Islam and traveled to the disputed Kashmir region for an initial terrorist training session. He also received weapons training in Pakistan and further training in the Philippines.

Barot's plans called for massive, synchronized attacks and including filling stretch limousines with gas canisters and then blowing them up.