Bank freezes terror suspects' assets

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Nineteen of the 24 terror suspects arrested over the alleged plot to blow up passenger jets had their assets frozen today. The 19 were also named by the Bank of England acting on the orders of Chancellor Gordon Brown following advice from police and the security services.

The Bank acted under powers granted by the United Nations to tackle the financing of terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The action means it is a crime to make their money available without a licence from the Treasury.

The 19 named by the Bank of England range in age from 17 to 35, with most in their 20s. Thirteen are from east London.

They were named as:

Abdula Ahmed Ali, 25, from Walthamstow, east London;
Cossor Ali, 23, also from Walthamstow;
Shazad Khuram Ali, 27, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire;
Nabeel Hussain, 22, from Chingford, east London;
Tanvir Hussain, 25, from Leyton, east London;
Umair Hussain, 24, from Poplar, east London;
Umar Islam, 28, also from High Wycombe;
Waseem Kayani, 29, from High Wycombe;
Assan Abdullah Khan, 21, from Walthamstow;
Waheed Arafat Khan, 25, from Walthamstow;
Osman Adam Khatib, 19, from Walthamstow;
Abdul Muneem Patel, 17, from Clapton, east London;
Tayib Rauf, 22, from Birmingham;
Muhammed Usman Saddique, 24, from Walthamstow;
Assad Sarwar, 26, from High Wycombe;
Ibrahim Savant, 25, from Walthamstow;
Amin Asmin Tariq, 23, from Walthamstow;
Shamin Mohammed Uddin, 35, from Stoke Newington, east London;
Waheed Zaman, 22, from Walthamstow.

Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury, said accounts held by the 19 named suspects with UK financial institutions were frozen until further notice.

"The Treasury will review the need for further use of our asset-freezing powers as we receive further advice from the police and security services," he said.

In a statement on its website , the Bank of England said it had directed that none of the frozen funds "should be made available, directly or indirectly to any person, except under the authority of a licence".

It added: "Financial institutions and other persons are requested to check whether they maintain any accounts or otherwise hold any funds, other financial assets, economic benefits and economic resources for the individuals named and, if so, they should freeze the accounts or other funds and report their findings to the Bank of England."

Meanwhile, the Home Secretary John Reid said the official threat level would stay at 'Critical' - a signal that an attack could be imminent - as a precautionary measure.

He said yesterday that the main players in the alleged plot had been "accounted for" but today the Home Secretary said: "There is no 100% certainty in these things."

At a London press conference, Mr Reid went out of his way to thank the authorities in Pakistan, where the arrest of two Britons played a crucial part in the timing of the arrests of 24 suspects in the UK on Wednesday night.

Both Mr Reid and Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander held out no immediate prospect of any lifting of the stringent extra security measures introduced at UK airports yesterday, which were continuing to disrupt flights today although on a lesser scale.