LONDON (Reuters) - Four members of a British Islamist militant cell who referred to themselves as the "Three Musketeers" were on Thursday given life sentences in prison for plotting an attack.
The four men - Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman, and Tahir Aziz - were arrested in an undercover sting operation in August 2016 after police uncovered a partly-built pipe bomb, an imitation gun and a meat cleaver scratched with the Arabic word for infidel in Ali's car.
"These men shared the same radical belief in violent jihad and had reached a stage where they were planning to take action," said Sue Hemming, the state prosecutor's counter-terrorism chief.
"Recent attacks have demonstrated the kind of horror these defendants could have caused had they not been stopped."
- PHOTOS: A look back at Queen performing in the 1970s and 1980s 22 Pictures
- All of these celebrities have had their nudes leaked 35 Pictures
Ali, 28, Hussain, 25, and Rahman, 33, were given life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years. Aziz, 38, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 15 years.
They had been convicted of terrorism offences by a court in London on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Fanny Potkin,; editing by William James and Pritha Sarkar)