3 UK men in court over terrorism
The Associated Press
July 10, 2012
Three men from central England accused of building an improvised explosive device and making other preparations for a terrorist attack are appearing in court on Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Jewel Uddin, 26, Omar Mohammed Khan, 27, and Mohammed Hasseen, 23, were scheduled to appear at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court after they were charged late Monday.
The three are among seven people detained after police stopped a car on a highway in central England on June 30, suspecting it had no insurance.
A later search of the impounded vehicle turned up guns and other weapons, prompting police to trace and arrest the driver, passenger and other suspects.
The nature of the arrests has prompted concern that British authorities may have been unaware that an alleged plot was developing, unlike many other cases when police move in to make arrests after observing suspected terrorists for weeks or months.
Prosecutors have not disclosed any details of alleged targets.
The three men, all from the mostly Muslim neighbourhood of Sparkhill in the central England city of Birmingham, are alleged to have constructed an improvised explosive device and purchased guns, other weapons and cars between May 1 and July 4.
Four other people are still being questioned by police.
Officials previously said the plot is not believed to be linked to the upcoming Olympic Games.
In the last week a total of 14 people have been arrested in two separate inquiries into alleged terrorist plots, though a 30-year-old woman has since been released without charge.
While authorities insist neither case is directly linked to the Olympics, David Anderson, Britain's ombudsman for anti-terrorism laws, said police and intelligence agencies were probably not prepared to take any risks in the buildup to the event.
"The Olympics are potentially a major target and you are seeing the police, perhaps in a marginal case, what they might do is decide to intervene a little bit earlier," he told BBC radio.
Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs Monday she was confident the Summer Games would be secure, but acknowledged a suspected terrorist had been caught visiting the Olympic park in east London.
The 24-year-old man, who is being held under a form of house arrest and suspected of links to the Somali militant group al-Shabab, travelled to the stadium five times, she said.
"He is accused of travelling through the Olympic park area in Stratford, from which he is prohibited, on five occasions," May told legislators.
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