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Man faces life in jail over plots to bomb Manchester and New York

By PA Reporter

A man accused of plotting to bomb the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester and the subway in New York City has been found guilty by a US jury.

Abid Naseer (28), who acted as his own lawyer during the New York trial, had pleaded not guilty and now faces a possible life sentence. During the trial, four MI5 agents testified wearing disguises. One wore a fake beard and thick black glasses. They described weeks of surveillance they conducted on Naseer in 2009, including movements to and from an Islamic centre and a cyber cafe.

Pakistani-born Naseer, who said he travelled to England to take computer science classes, was extradited from the UK to the United States in 2013.

The trial marked the first time documents recovered in the 2009 Navy SEAL raid against Osama bin Laden's compound were used as trial evidence. Most of the case hinged on emails in 2009 between Naseer and a person described by prosecutors as an al-Qaida handler who was directing plots to attack civilians in Manchester, New York City and Copenhagen. Naseer insisted the emails consisted only of harmless banter about looking for a potential bride after going to England to take computer science classes.

But a prosecutor dismissed his defence saying: "This man wanted to drive a car bomb into a crowded shopping centre and watch people die."

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