LONDON (Reuters) - A London taxi driver, convicted of making bombs which were used against U.S. forces in Iraq, one of which killed a U.S. sergeant, was jailed for life on Friday and told he would spend at least 38 years behind bars.
Anis Sardar, 38, of northwest London, was convicted at London's Woolwich Crown Court of murder and conspiracy to murder after his fingerprints were found on adhesive tape used to make two bombs planted under roads leading out of Baghdad in an area close to the U.S. Army's Camp Liberty.
One of the devices exploded as a U.S. armored vehicle drove over it on Sept. 27, 2007, killing Sergeant First Class Randy Johnson, who was married with two young children.
Sardar had argued that he had become involved in the conflict in Iraq to protect Sunni villages from attack by Shi'ite militias during the U.S. "surge" operation in 2007, and had merely helped others put the bombs together.
But the prosecution argued that he was either deliberately targeting U.S. troops or did not care who the explosive devices killed.
"I am satisfied that at the material time, you had the mindset that made the Americans every bit as much the enemy as the Shi'ite militia," the judge, Justice Henry Globe told Sardar who was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to murder.
"I am entirely satisfied that you must be detained for an extremely long time."
Britain's Crown Prosecution Service described Sardar's conviction as a "landmark prosecution" that meant international boundaries would not stop "terrorists in the UK being brought to justice".
Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison