British police charge nine men over bomb plot

December 27, 2010 12:00 am

, LONDON, Dec 27 – Nine men will appear in a London court on Monday on terrorism charges including plotting one or more bomb attacks in Britain, a week after police arrested them in pre-dawn raids across England and Wales.

The men have been charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion — or explosions — "of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property" between October 1 and November 20 this year, said police.

The men were also charged with involvement in the preparation of an attack by having downloaded and researched methods and materials, and scouted potential targets, said the police statement.

The suspects had also tested incendiary materials, said police.

Sue Hemming, of the counter-terrorism division of Britain\’s prosecution service, confirmed the charges in a statement.

She said sufficient evidence had been uncovered leading to charges of "conspiracy to cause explosions" and preparing "acts of terrorism" with the intention of either committing the acts themselves or helping others to do so, she said.

Lawyers from her division had been working closely with the police from an early stage, she added.

On December 20, police arrested a dozen suspects in England and Wales, aged between 17 and 28, detaining them "on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK."

The arrests were made in the Welsh capital Cardiff; in the central English town of Stoke-on-Trent; in Britain\’s second city Birmingham in the English West Midlands; and in London.

Hemming said prosecutors had decided to file the charges after having reviewed evidence provided by the West Midlands counter terrorism unit.

A bombing in Stockholm earlier this month has heightened concerns in Britain because the man thought to have been the bomber was based near London.

The man blew up himself and his car in a busy district of the Swedish capital.

Swedish investigators say they are "98 percent certain" he was Taimour Abdulwahab, who had been living for the past few years in Luton, near London, with his wife and three children.

Britain is on high alert after having upgraded its perceived terror threat level earlier this year to "severe."

This is the second highest on a five-level grading, indicating that a terrorist attack is "highly likely," according to the Home Office, Britain\’s interior ministry.

The threat level was hiked in January after a six-month spell at "substantial" — the only time it has dipped below the two highest levels since it was set up in 2006, following the London bombings in July 2005.

Those attacks on three Underground trains and a bus killed 52 people, plus the four suicide bombers, who were all British nationals.


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