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Four Plead Guilty to London Stock Exchange Plot

This undated picture made available by West Midlands Police on February 1, 2012, shows Mohammed Chowdhury, one of four British men that pleaded guilty to involvement in an al-Qaida inspired plot.

Four men in Britain have pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb the London Stock Exchange and other targets.

The men were among nine defendants arrested in December 2010 and set to stand trial on charges of plotting to send a series of mail bombs.

All had initially entered pleas of not guilty, but on Wednesday four pleaded guilty to the stock exchange plot. The remaining five admitted to lesser charges.

Prosecutors say the defendants were not members of al-Qaida, but were inspired by the terror network - particularly Yemen-based U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, who was killed last year in a U.S. drone strike.

They said the nine "were implementing the published strategy of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula."

A handwritten target list found at one of the defendant's homes listed the names and addresses of the London mayor, two rabbis, the American embassy and the stock exchange.

The defendants will be sentenced next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.