UK: claims he only planned small bomb at Houses of Parliament as publicity stunt for movie he was making

CBC News This undated image was taken from what prosecutors say is a suicide video, in which Abdullah Ahmed Ali tells unbelievers they should be punished.A 27-year-old man accused of planning to bomb North America-bound airliners, including flights that prosecutors say were headed for Montreal and Toronto, said on Monday he was planning a publicity stunt, not mass murder.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, one of eight British men charged with plotting to simultaneously detonate liquid explosives aboard passenger jets in 2006, told a court in London he had never considered bombing a plane.

He testified he instead planned to set off an explosion at the Houses of Parliament in London, using a device large enough to generate "mass media attention." He denied he planned to kill anyone.

"We never intended to murder anyone or to injure anyone," he said. "We never even thought about going on an airplane."

Prosecutors accuse Ali of being one of three ringleaders in a plot to kill hundreds of airline passengers by detonating bombs concealed in soft drink bottles as the flights crossed the Atlantic Ocean or over North American cities.

Earlier in the trial, the jury was played a video in which Ali said he wanted to become a martyr. He threatened to "punish and humiliate" non-Muslims and "teach them a lesson they will never forget."

The computer systems engineering graduate told the court on Monday the video was just propaganda. He said he intended to use the footage for a documentary to be distributed on YouTube. The bomb blast, he said, would help publicize the movie.

Ali said he hoped the documentary would help sway the British public's attitude toward the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he called "totally illegal and criminal."

Prosecutors say Ali had a computer memory stick that stored vast amounts of detail on daily air services from London to North America, adding that he and his co-conspirators did not seem interested in return flights.

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