3 charged in British terror plot remanded in custody

Wednesday, August 30th 2006, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ Three British men accused of plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airliners with liquid explosives made their first court appearance Wednesday and were ordered held until next month.

Mohammed Yasar Gulzar, 25, Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 35, and Nabeel Hussain, 22, were charged Tuesday with conspiracy to commit murder and preparing to commit terrorism by plotting to smuggle liquid explosives aboard the planes, Metropolitan Police said.

Security at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, in central London as the men appeared.

District Judge Nicholas Evans denied Hussain's application for bail. The other two suspects did not seek bail. Their next hearing was scheduled for Sept. 18.

Eleven people have now been charged on the two counts. Four others are accused of lesser offenses, including withholding from police information about a planned terrorist act.

Of the 25 people originally arrested in raids earlier this month, 15 have been charged. Five remain in custody without charge and five have been released.

Police were expected to seek permission from a judge to get more time to question the remaining five suspects. British law allows police to hold suspected terrorists for a maximum of 28 days, subject to court approval.

On Tuesday, a judge ordered Nabeel's brother, Mehran Hussain, held in custody until Sept. 19 in connection with the alleged plot. Their other brother, Umair Hussain, is also in custody charged with failing to disclose information.

Investigators have said they are analyzing thousands of pieces of evidence seized in searches of at least 50 properties and two stretches of woodland.

Hundreds of hours of covert audio and video surveillance are being examined, along with at least six alleged martyrdom videotapes, law enforcement officials said.

Other documents recovered by police include alleged wills made out by men intending to commit suicide acts, officials said, including one document that refers to the blessing of ``limbs torn away'' in a martyrdom operation.

Police have discovered chemicals that can be used to make bombs, including hydrogen peroxide, and electrical components during their searches, said Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist department.

More than 8,000 items of data storage, such as CDs, DVDs and memory sticks, were found, authorities said.