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Terror suspects in court




By SIMON HUGHES
Chief Investigative Reporter

EIGHT suspects were charged with conspiracy to murder yesterday over the alleged suicide bomb plot to blow up airliners.

They were also accused of trying to smuggle bottle bomb components on board the planes which would then be assembled and detonated.

Another three suspects — including the wife of one alleged plotter and a 17-year-old boy — were charged with involvement in an attempt to down up to nine jets flying from Britain to the US.

This morning the suspects were taken from London's high-security Paddington Green police station to appear at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court in Westminster.


Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, Westminster

The charges suggest the conspiracy dates from New Year’s Day.

Anti-terror chief Peter Clarke claimed the scale of it was “immense” and said the police investigation would span the globe.

He also provided an inventory of “evidence” seized since most of the arrests were made 12 days ago in London, Birmingham and High Wycombe, Bucks.

He said: “We have found bomb-making equipment.

“There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items.

“We have also found a number of video recordings — these are sometimes referred to as martyrdom videos. This has all given us a clearer picture of the alleged plot.”

Mr Clarke, who heads Scotland Yard’s Anti-Terrorist Branch, added: “There have been 69 searches.

“These have been in houses, flats, business premises, vehicles and open spaces.

“As well as the bomb-making equipment, we have found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 items of removable storage media such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs.

“So far, from the computers alone, we have removed some 6,000 gigobytes of data.

“The meticulous investigation of all this material will take many months. All the data will be analysed.

“The enormity of the alleged plot will be matched only by our determination to follow every lead and line of inquiry.”

But the police chief also issued a chilling warning of more scares to come.

Looking sombre, he said: “The threat from terrorism is real. It is here, it is is deadly and it is enduring. As we all look for explanations, we cannot afford to be complacent and ignore the reality of what we face.”

Those charged with plotting to murder, all men, were named as Ahmed Abdullah Ali, also known as Abdullah Ali Ahmed Khan; Tanvir Hussain; Umar Islam, aka Brian Young; Arafat Waheed Khan; Assad Ali Sarwar; Adam Khatib; Ibrahim Savant and Waheed Zaman.

No ages or addresses were given.

Abdullah Ali’s wife Cossar Ali was accused of failing to disclose information about a terror act allegedly to be committed by her husband.

The 17-year-old, who was not named, is said to have had a book on improvised explosive devices.

He was also accused of having suicide notes and wills “with the identities of persons prepared to commit acts of terrorism”.

And he allegedly possessed a map of Afghanistan likely to be useful to a terrorist.

An older man, Mehran Hussain, was accused of failing to disclose information which would have assisted another to commit an act of terror.

Top Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Susan Hemming, who heads the CPS’s counter-terror division, sanctioned the charges following consultations with Director of Public Prosecutions Ken MacDonald.

She said one suspect, a woman, had been released without charge while 11 others remained in custody under active investigation.

Ms Hemming added: “We have been carefully examining and assessing the evidence against each individual with the assistance of anti-terrorist officers in order to come to charging decisions at the earliest practical opportunity.”

The bottle bomb probe, codenamed Operation Overt, already stretches to Pakistan where Briton Rashid Rauf, said to have al-Qaeda links, is in custody. His brother was among those seized in Birmingham.
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The charge sheet




1. AHMED ABDULLAH ALI aka ABDULLAH ALI AHMED KHAN. On diverse days between 1 January 2006 and 10 August 2006 conspired with other persons to murder other persons — contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

On diverse days between 1 January 2006 and 10 August 2006 with the intention of committing acts of terrorism engaged in conduct to give effect to their intention to smuggle the component parts of improvised explosive devices on to aircraft and assemble and detonate them on board — contrary to Section 5 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

2. TANVIR HUSSAIN. The same charges.

3. UMAR ISLAM aka BRIAN YOUNG. The same charges.

4. ARAFAT WAHEED KHAN. The same charges.

5. ASSAD ALI SARWAR. The same charges.

6. ADAM KHATIB. The same charges.

7. IBRAHIM SAVANT. The same charges.

8. WAHEED ZAMAN. The same charges.

9. A 17-YEAR-OLD MALE. On a day between 1 October 2005 and 10 August 2006 had in his possession a document or record, namely a book on improvised explosive devices, some suicide notes and wills with the identities of persons prepared to commit acts of terrorism and a map of Afghanistan containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

10. COSSAR ALI — female. On diverse days between the 1 January 2005 and 10 August 2006 had information which she knew or believed might be of material assistance in preventing the commission of another person namely, Ahmed Abdullah Ali aka Abdullah Ali Ahmed Khan, of an act of terrorism and failed to disclose it as soon as reasonably practicable.

11. MEHRAN HUSSAIN. On diverse days between the 23 September 2005 and 10 August 2006 had information which he knew or believed might be of material assistance in preventing the commission of another person namely, Nabeel Hussain, of an act of terrorism and failed to disclose it as soon as reasonably practicable.



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