Was the U.K. unable or unwilling to charge and try someone who plotted to blow up their airport? Source: UK citizen Minh Quang Pham jailed for Heathrow suicide plot – BBC News
A British citizen who US prosecutors said plotted to carry out a suicide bomb attack at Heathrow Airport has been jailed for 40 years in the US.
In January, Pham admitted three counts of terrorist-related activity based on his support for the group.
He denied he intended to carry out his plot and no attack ever occurred.
Pham, a former Vietnamese national who had lived in London, was first arrested in the UK in June 2012 and was extradited to the US in February 2015.
Scotland Yard said its counter-terrorism command provided key evidence that helped shape the case against Pham, also known as Amin, which led to his prosecution.
He pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to AQAP, one count of conspiring to receive military training from AQAP and one count of possessing and using a machine gun in furtherance of crimes of violence.
District Judge Alison Nathan said Pham deserved an “exceptionally severe sentence” after he became a trusted asset for the terror group.
Pham had worked as a graphic artist on the group’s magazine, Inspire, that was said to be used by the Boston marathon bombers to learn how to make bombs.
During the hearing Pham said he had made a “terrible mistake” that he regretted and sent a letter to the judge to say he renounced all acts of terrorism and extremist ideology.
A British member of al-Qaeda has claimed he only agreed to carry out a suicide bombing at Heathrow as a way of escaping from a terror training camp in Yemen where he was suffering from scabies.
Minh Quang Pham, a British citizen born in Vietnam, spent six months in Yemen in 2011 training with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the deadliest branches of the terror network.
He returned to Britain in July 2011 after allegedly being tasked by Anwar al-Awlaki to build a bomb and and ultimately blow himself up in the arrivals section of Heathrow airport.
The 33-year-old was arrested by British police and extradited to New York where he pleaded guilty in January to three terrorism charges.
While in Yemen, Pham worked on Inspire, the al-Qaeda magazine which includes recipes for making explosives and was read by the Boston Bombers before their 2013 attack.
Al-Awlaki gave Pham £6,000 to carry out the attack and personally instructed him on how to make a bomb from household chemicals, according to the FBI.
But the money was seized from him when he landed at Heathrow in July 2011 and it does not appear that Pham made any effort to actually make the bomb.
He was arrested nearly a year later at the request of the US and eventually extradited to New York in February 2015.
He was charged with five counts including providing material support to a terror group, receiving terrorist training, and possession of a machine gun as part of a violent crime. None of the charges directly relate to a plot to bomb Heathrow.
Why was this Muslim brought to the U.S. where American taxpayers will have to support him for forty years? Yet illegal immigrants who have actually killed multiple times are roaming the U.S. freely? If he survives and/or is released early, where will he go?