Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Eleven men in UK airline terror plot to appear in court

AP , LONDON

Eleven people charged in the alleged plot to blow up as many as 10 airliners flying to the US were to go to court yesterday and expected to be kept in custody.

The court appearance would be the first time that the suspects, all of whom were charged on Monday with terrorism offenses, would be in the public eye since being arrested on Aug. 10.

Eight people were each charged with two offenses -- conspiracy to commit murder and preparing acts of terrorism. One person, a 17-year-old, was charged with possession of articles that could be used to prepare a terrorist act and two people were charged with failing to disclose information that could help prevent a terrorist act. One person was released without charge, while 11 remain in custody but have not yet been charged.

Nine of those charged are from London, according to a Bank of England list of suspects whose assets were frozen following the arrests. Two are from suburban High Wycombe, 50km northwest of London.

Investigators warned that the case was still being examined in minute detail.

"Fingerprints, DNA, electronic data, handwriting comparisons, chemical analysis, and indeed the full range of forensic disciplines will be used," Peter Clarke, the head of the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorism unit told reporters after the Crown Prosecution Service announced the charges.

"The meticulous investigation of all this material will take many months. All the data will be analyzed. There will be thousands of forensic examinations and comparisons," he said. "The scale is immense, inquiries will span the globe."

British officials also confirmed for the first time that the plot involved the manufacture of explosives, which would then be assembled and detonated on board airliners.

"There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items," Clarke stated. "We have also found a number of video recordings -- these are sometimes referred to as martyrdom videos. This has all given us a clearer picture of the alleged plot."

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