The men, from London, Stoke and Cardiff, are reported to have been inspired by al-Qaeda. They had compiled a target list for attacks – found at the home of the ring-leader – which included the address of London Mayor Boris Johnson, the names and addresses of two rabbis, and the American embassy.
It also included the letters ‘LXC’, which has been taken to mean the London Stock Exchange.
Three other men are reported to have met with the plotters and planned to travel abroad for terrorist training. A further two men pleaded guilty to associated charges.
Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, the ring leader, and Shah Rahman, 29, were under surveillance as they toured central London, where they were observed looking at Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Blackfriars Bridge and the Church of Scientology on Queen Victoria Street.
Police found the handwritten list of bombing targets at Chowdhury’s flat in the Isle of Dogs.
The men from London and Cardiff – originally from Bangladesh – first discussed sending bombs through the Royal Mail, then decided on a plan to set off bombs in the toilets of the stock exchange.
The Stoke group, whose origins are in Pakistan, discussed persuading others to set off bombs in pubs in the local area.
Abdul Miah, 25, said to be at the centre of the Cardiff gang, and his brother Omar Latif, 28, pleaded guilty to taking part in the Stock Exchange plot. Gurukanth Desai, 30, pleaded guilty to attending meetings.
Mohibur Rahman, 27, from Stoke, pleaded guilty to possession of a document containing information useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism.
Usman Khan, 20, Mohammed Shahjahan, 27, and Nazam Hussain, 26, all from Stoke, pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism.