Bail denied for British teen facing charge in alleged plot to blow up airliners

Tuesday, August 29th 2006, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ A 17-year-old boy accused of storing an explosives manual and other documents connected to an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners was denied bail at a court appearance on Tuesday.

Two others facing charges in connection with the foiled plot were ordered detained pending further court appearances.

Prosecutor Colin Gibbs told the court the teenager is accused of storing the explosives manual, along with a map of Afghanistan and five wills made out by people who planned to commit suicide bombings _ items police consider likely connected to planned acts of terrorism.

The boy, who was not identified because of his age, was remanded until Sept. 19. His attorney, Gareth Peirce, said he intended to plead not guilty to a charge he possessed material that could be used to prepare a terrorist act. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Chief Magistrate Timothy Workman also ordered Mehran Hussain, 24, to be held in custody until Sept. 19. Hussain did not appear in court and his lawyer made no application for bail.

He and his brother, Umair, are charged with failing to tell police about their brother Nabeel's alleged involvement in plot to down airliners using plastic explosives.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Nabeel Hussain, one of eight suspects who is detained but not charged, planned to argue at a different court Tuesday against his continued detention.

British law provides for terrorist suspects to be detained for up to 28 days without charge, subject to a judge's permission.

A deadline for the detention of the eight suspects expires Wednesday, but a police spokesman said it was not yet decided whether charges would be filed, or if police would seek more time for questioning.

Workman also ordered Cossar Ali, 24, who is the only woman to so far be charged over the alleged plot, held in custody until Sept. 5. She is accused of failing to disclose information about a possible terrorist attack. Her husband, Ahmed Abdullah Ali, is also among the 12 people charged to date in the case.

Senior police officers said last week they were analyzing thousands of pieces of evidence seized in searches of dozens of properties and two stretches of woodland.

Investigators have found bombing-making chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, and electrical components during their searches, said Peter Clarke, the head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist department.

Months of surveillance had produced ``significant video and audio recordings'' about the alleged plot, he said, including ``martyrdom videos'' by some of the suspects.

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