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Bluewater bomber'

PUBLISHED: 11:02 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 23 August 2010

A CANADIAN man has been convicted of plotting to blow-up Bluewater shopping centre with a 600kg bomb causing massive loss of life. The software developer was found guilty for his role in the failed fertiliser bomb plot in Britain. A judge in Ontario r

A CANADIAN man has been convicted of plotting to blow-up Bluewater shopping centre with a 600kg bomb causing "massive" loss of life.

The software developer was found guilty for his role in the failed fertiliser bomb plot in Britain.

A judge in Ontario ruled Momin Khawaja, 29, was involved in a terrorist group and convicted him of five charges of financing and facilitating terrorism.

He was tried without a jury and found guilty last Wednesday. (29)

Khawaja was a co-conspirator of five men jailed for life in April 2007 for a UK bomb plot linked to al-Qaeda.

Judge Douglas Rutherford said: "Momin Khawaja was aware of the group's purposes, and whether he considered them terrorism or not he assisted the group in many ways in the pursuit of its terrorist objective.

"It matters not whether any terrorist activity was actually carried out."

Khawaja was arrested in March 2004 in a joint UK-Canadian operation and was accused of planning to attack the UK.

The judge ruled that he had knowingly participated in the foiled plot against several British targets, including a shopping centre, nightclub and the gas network.

As well as five terrorism offences, he was also found guilty of two separate criminal charges of having worked on a device to activate a bomb detonator and possessing an explosive substance.

Khawaja designed a remote bomb detonator which he called the "hi-fi digimonster", prosecutors said. He was also accused of attending a paramilitary training camp in Pakistan.

In February 2004 Mr Khawaja appeared on the radar of the security services who already had the British fertiliser bomb plot conspirators under surveillance.

When he arrived at Heathrow airport he was met by Omar Khyam - one of the Britons convicted last year - whose car had already been bugged by MI5 and who was being followed by specialist counter-terrorism officers.

One of the surveillance officers told the British plot trial they had no idea who the Canadian was, or what his role was in the plot.

But as Khyam drove off in his Suzuki Vitara, the officers listening in heard him and the Canadian discuss a remote-controlled device designed to trigger the bomb the men were planning. He was later arrested and charged in Canada.

Khawaja, who had denied all seven charges related to terrorism and explosives use, will be sentenced on November 18.

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