An al-Qaida bomb-maker who plotted a knife attack on MPs and police outside the Houses of Parliament has been handed three life sentences with a minimum term of 40 years.
Khalid Ali, 28, had three knives when he was arrested by armed police in Parliament Square in April 2017 following surveillance by counter-terrorism police.
Ali, a plumber, had been tracked by police since he returned from , where he spent five years making Taliban bombs used to maim and kill coalition troops.
In late 2016, the FBI matched his fingerprints to those on two caches of explosives recovered in 2012.
Following an Old Bailey trial in June, Ali was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts in Britain and two charges of possessing explosive substances with intent abroad.
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC handed Ali three life sentences.
He gave a minimum of 40 years for making IEDs for the in 2012 and 25 years for the plot to kill in Britain and attract “maximum publicity and instil terror”.
He said: “I am absolutely sure you were in Afghanistan. You were a valued member of a team making IEDs that were detonated in combat between January and July 2012.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a very considerable risk of your committing offences of violence in the future and cause death or serious injury as a result. I’m sure your plan was to attack and kill someone in central London.
“Your preparations were complete and you very simply had to identify your precise target and his or her death was very likely to be caused by a knife attack. You would kill any police officer you could.”