(LONDON) — Nine men whose family ties originate in either Bangladesh or Pakistan pled guilty Wednesday to charges related to their involvement in an al Qaeda-inspired conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism. Four of the men, all British citizens, confessed their roles in a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange, according to The New York Times. The other five entered guilty pleas for lesser charges related to a larger terrorist conspiracy.
According to the Times, undercover counterterrorism officers found out the suspects’ plan to bomb the London Stock Exchange by secretly monitoring their conversations and following them as they appeared to study popular tourist attractions in London — namely the 440-foot ferris wheel called the London Eye. The Times reports Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the U.S. Embassy were also among the suspects’ potential targets.
The men are expected to return to court for sentencing next week.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN