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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK
Eleven charged over 'bomb plot'
Police outside house
Police have been searching a number of addresses in the UK
Eleven people have been charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up several transatlantic airliners.

Eight of those have been charged with conspiracy to murder and preparing acts of terrorism.

Two are accused of failing to disclose information and a 17-year-old faces a charge of possessing articles useful to a person preparing acts of terrorism.

One woman has been freed without charge and eleven people remain in custody, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Susan Hemming, head of the CPS counter terrorism division, said the alleged plot was to "manufacture and smuggle the component parts of improvised explosive devices on to aircraft and assemble and detonate them on board".

Ahmed Abdullah Ali, 25, Arafat Waheed Khan, 25, Adam Khatib, 19, and Waheed Zaman, 22, all from Walthamstow, are charged with conspiracy to murder and with preparing acts of terrorism under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Ibrahim Savant, 25, from Stoke Newington, north London, Tanvir Hussain, 25, of no fixed address, Umar Islam, 28, of east London, and Assad Ali Sarwar, 26, from High Wycombe, all face the same charges.

Meanwhile, Cossor Ali, a 23-year old mother of an eight-month-old baby from Walthamstow, east London, was charged with failing to disclose information.

News that she had been charged emerged at the High Court where her lawyers were about to begin legal action over her detention earlier on Monday afternoon.

The 17-year-old boy is accused of possessing a book on bombs, suicide notes and the wills of people prepared to commit terrorist acts, according to the charges issued against him.

The threat from terrorism is real. It is here, it is deadly and it is enduring
Peter Clarke, Metropolitan Police

The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke told journalists bomb making equipment, including chemicals and electrical components, had been found during the investigation into the alleged plot.

He added a number of video recordings known as "martyrdom videos" had also been recovered.

Mr Clarke said: "I would like to reassure the public that we are doing everything we can to keep you safe so that you can live your lives without being in constant fear.

"The threat from terrorism is real. It is here, it 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".

DAC Peter Clarke
The investigation is "immense" say police
He added:

"However the investigation is far from complete. The scale is immense, inquiries will span the globe.

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

An initial 24 people were arrested following police raids in Walthamstow, east London, High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and Birmingham on 10 August.

Security at airports was increased, causing widespread flight cancellations in the UK for several days.

Scotland Yard said that those charged would appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Tuesday.

Police have also been granted a time extension warrant allowing officers to hold one of the 11 uncharged terror suspects still in custody until Wednesday.

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said it was unusual for the police to release so much information into the public domain after suspects had been charged.

He said: "One person gave the details about who is being charged and the police officer Peter Clarke gave the details about what is being found.

"They were being very careful to separate the two but I think he [Peter Clarke] feels very strongly that it is important that the public know what it is that they believe they have got but he does not say that it is evidence necessarily against the people being charged."

'Immense' investigation

Mr Clarke said the investigation of the material seized by police was likely to take months.

In a highly unusual development, Mr Clarke went into significant detail about the evidence so far uncovered by police inquiries. These included:

  • 69 searches of houses, flats and business premises, vehicles and open spaces
  • Searches had found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 computer media items such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs
  • Police experts have removed 6,000 gigabytes of data from the seized computers
  • Bomb making equipment, including chemicals and electrical components seized, police say
  • A number of video recordings recovered.
  • At the news conference, Susan Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division, said she had been working with Scotland Yard officers for the past eight days.

    "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 practicable opportunity."

    She added that the position of the people still in custody would be "assessed on a regular basis".

    "We cannot yet make a decision about whether further charges will follow or if a further application for detention will be made on Wednesday, as the evidential picture is continuously developing."




    SEE ALSO
    Terror charges in full
    21 Aug 06 |  UK



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