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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Life Terms Given to 4 in Britain

LONDON -- A judge Wednesday sentenced four al-Qaida-inspired plotters to life in prison for attempting to bomb London's transit system on July 21, 2005, two weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in the city.

Judge Adrian Fulford said the men must spend at least 40 years in jail before becoming eligible for parole. On Monday, a jury found Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29; Yassin Omar, 26; Ramzi Mohammed, 25; and Hussain Osman, 28, guilty of conspiracy to murder in a plot to detonate explosives-filled knapsacks on three subway trains and a bus. The bombs failed to explode.

Fulford said that if the bombs had gone off, "At least 50 people would have died, hundreds of people would have been wounded, thousands would have had their lives permanently damaged."

Two other suspects, Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 34, and Adel Yahya, 24, will be retried because the jury did not reach a verdict.

Prosecutors said the July 21 attacks were a deliberate mirror image of the July 7 transit bombings, though the planning started long before. Police suspect, but could not prove, that there were links between the groups.

Fulford said the events of July 7 meant the July 21 plotters knew how deadly their bombs were likely to be.

"They planned this, they prepared for it," Fulford said. "They had spent many hours making viable bombs. After 7/7, each defendant knew exactly what the result would be."