Terrorist investigation involved nearly 1,000 cops
The successful conviction of terrorists from three UK cities who plotted to set off bombs in London involved a huge police operation of nearly 1,000 officers.
On Thursday, nine men were sentenced for their involvement in the case at Woolwich Crown Court, including two east Londoners.
Muslim extremists Mohammed Chowdhury, 22, of Tower Hamlets and Shah Rahman, 28, from Newham, were ordered to serve 13 years and eight months and 12 years, respectively, for their involvement.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, the senior national co-ordinator on Counter Terrorism, said: "This was one of the most significant and complex counter terrorism operations of recent years.
"We had a network of highly dangerous men based in three cities who were working together to plan terrorist attacks in the UK.
"Had we not taken action to disrupt this network, their actions could have resulted in serious casualties or fatalities.
"Given the level of threat we faced a large scale covert operation was started to put these men under surveillance.
"At the height of the investigation over the Christmas period of 2010 nearly 1,000 police officers and staff were involved nationally, all showing an extraordinary level of commitment."
The operation included officers from the national counter terrorist unit, alongside teams from the Metropolitan, Staffordshire and South Wales police forces, as well as the security service.
Chowdhury, who was called the lynchpin by the prosecution, and Rahman were followed by police as they made their way across the capital identifying potential targets.
One site they plotted to bomb was the London Stock Exchange.
"These men were arrested when the balance between public safety and gathering evidence meant that we could not run the operation longer," said Dep Ass Com Osborne.
"This plot clearly demonstrates that there are still people living in our communities who are intent on doing us harm. If we are to find them and we are to stop them we must all remain vigilant and aware."