Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A woman with an eight-month-old child and her husband appeared in a British court among 11 people charged in connection with a plot to blow up planes

Duncan Gardham:

Top, from left: Ibrahim Savant, Waheed Zaman, Arafat Waheed Khan, Umar Islam Bottom, l to r: Tanvir Hussain, Cossar Ali, Mehran Hussain and Ahmed Abdullah Ali

Cossar Ali, 24, of Walthamstow, east London, appeared accused of failing to disclose information about her husband which could have helped prevent an act of terrorism.

Ahmed Abdullah Ali, also known as Abdullah Ali Ahmed Khan, 25, from Walthamstow, was one of eight men accused of conspiracy to murder and of intending to commit acts of terrorism.

They are said to have planned to smuggle the component parts of improvised explosive devices on to aircraft and assemble and detonate them on board. If found guilty, they face life in prison.

It is alleged that the liquid bombs were made from hydrogen peroxide with electrical components to detonate them.

A 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of possessing a book on bombmaking and a box, which was found under his wife's bed, containing a number of wills and suicide videos.

Mrs Ali showed little emotion as her barrister, David Gottlieb, indicated that she would plead not guilty and applied for bail, which was denied.

An order was made by District Judge Timothy Workman that banned reporting of the defendants' addresses to protect their families from intimidation.

Up to 100 people packed the small courtroom at Horseferry Road magistrates' court for the hearings, including several journalists from the US. All seats in the public gallery were occupied, leaving many onlookers sitting on the floor and even in the witness box. The bearded men appeared wearing white sweatshirts and grey jogging bottoms at the court, which is a short distance across London from Paddington Green Police Station, where they had been questioned for more than a week.

With short hair and a neatly clipped beard, Tanvir Hussain, 25, who said he was of no fixed abode, was the first to appear, surrounded by five dock officers.

Alongside him were Assad Ali Sarwar, 26, from High Wycombe, Bucks, and Adam Khatib, 19, from Walthamstow, who had a thin, wispy beard and gave an "OK" sign to the public gallery as he was led away.

They were followed by Ahmed Abdullah Ali, who confirmed his name and date of birth for the court. Alongside him were Umar Islam, 28, from West Ham, east London, who had changed his name from Brian Young, and Arafat Waheed Khan, 25, from Walthamstow. Ibrahim Savant, 25, from Stoke Newington, north London, and Waheed Zaman, 22, also from Walthamstow, were the last to appear charged with the main conspiracy.

Lawyers speaking on behalf of the eight men said that they contested assertions made on behalf of the prosecution by Susan Hemming, the head of the anti-terrorism division of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Workman ordered all of the men to be remanded in custody before an appearance at the Old Bailey in September.

Mehran Hussain, 23, from Chingford, east London, also appeared accused of withholding information about his brother, Nabeel, who remains in custody.

His lawyer, along with those for Mrs Ali and the 17-year-old, indicated that they would plead not guilty and were remanded in custody for a week before a further hearing.

The eight accused of conspiracy to murder and of intending to commit acts of terrorism were transported from the court complex in police vans with blacked-out windows. They were escorted by police convoys and taken to Belmarsh high-security jail in Plumstead, south-east London. Another 11 men remain in custody and prosecutors must decide whether to charge them or apply to a judge for extra time to question them today.

Police seek more time to question air plot suspects

Judge Denies Bail to 11 Charged in Alleged Airliner Bomb Plot

Terror plot suspects revealed


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