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Three Britons due in court on airline bomb charges

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) Three British Muslims are due in court today, accused over a suspected plot to blow up U S-bound airliners.

Police must also decide whether to charge, free or ask permission to keep five other suspects in custody.

Mohammed Yasar Gulzar (age unknown), Mohammed Shamin Udin, 35, and Nabeel Hussain, 22, were charged by detectives late yesterday with conspiracy to murder and planning acts of terrorism by plotting to blow up planes.

They are due to appear at a magistrates court in central London tp hear formal charges against them.

The men were among 25 arrested by British anti-terrorism detectives who said on August 10 they had foiled a plan to use homemade liquid explosives to bring down several airliners over the Atlantic on the way from Britain to the United States.

So far, officers have charged 15 people in connection with the inquiry.

Last week eight men were remanded over the most serious charges of conspiracy to murder and plotting to smuggle and detonate bombs on board airliners.

Four others, including a 17-year-old youth and a young mother with an 8-month-old baby, are accused of lesser offences.

Five more, including the baby who was briefly taken into custody with his mother, have been released without charge.

All of those arrested are British Muslims and most are of Pakistani origin.

Five people remain in custody who have not so far been charged.

Under new British security legislation that came into force last month, detectives can question terrorism suspects for up to 28 days before deciding whether to charge or free them.

However, they are required to seek regular judicial approval and must obtain new consent from a London High Court judge today if they want to keep the remaining five suspects, who have already been held for 21 days, in custody.

Pakistani authorities have also arrested several people, including two Britons, in connection with the plot.

On Monday Britain confirmed it had asked Pakistan to extradite a British national, Rashid Rauf.

Rauf, who is a dual Pakistani-British national, has been identified as a key figure in the inquiry by the Pakistan government. However the extradition has been requested in relation to a murder in April 2002.


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