First Briton charged with training for terror

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The Independent Online

A 22-year-old man last night became the first person in Britain to be charged with receiving training for terrorism.

A 22-year-old man last night became the first person in Britain to be charged with receiving training for terrorism.

Yassin Mutegombwa of Upper Norwood in south London, was charged with the new offence under the Terrorism Act 2006.

He is accused of attending weekend training camps in the New Forest and at a farm in Berkshire.

He was one of the 14 people arrested in a series ofanti-terror raids in south-east England on 1 September, including 12 at a Chinese restaurant in Borough, south London.

The training sessions are alleged to have taken place at a woodland area near Matley Wood camping site in Lyndhurst in Hampshire over the weekends between 28 April and 1 May, and from 2 to 4 June.

Mr Mutegombwa was also charged with receiving terrorism training at Pondwood Farm in White Waltham, Berkshire, on 18 June. Hovercraft racing, paintball and shooting are activities on offer at the farm, and are available to corporate and private groups.

Three other people arrested in the raids were charged last night. Mr Mutegombwa's brother Hassan, 20, was charged with procuring funds for terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Musa Akmet, 47, of Eltham, south-east London, was charged with possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist. He was also charged with possessing a firearm ­ a 16mm mini flare launcher ­ without a firearms certificate.

Mustafa Abdullah, 24, from Stockwell in south London, was charged with possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.

All four men, who are the first of the people arrested in the 1 September raids to be charged, will appear before City of Westminster magistrates today. Two of the 14 have been released.

The Metropolitan Police were granted a warrant for the further detention until tomorrow of another man arrested in the raids.

Among those being held is Abu Abdullah, thought to be a former associate of the radical cleric Abu Hamza.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a school being searched by anti-terror officers in connection with the investigation faces imminent closure, with inspectors due to decide its future by the end of the year.

Police have been searching the independent Jameah Islamiyah Secondary School in Mark Cross, near Crowborough, East Sussex, since the raids took place. An Ofsted inspection last year found that the school failed to provide a satisfactory education and had significant weaknesses.

The school provided a plan for improvement that was rejected, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) said yesterday. A formal notice was then served in June for the school to supply a final plan that fully addressed the school's problems, or face closure. This was received on 27 July.

The DfES said Ofsted inspectors would return to the school this term to examine whether it has improved. If the school fails to satisfy the inspectors it will be withdrawn from the Register of Independent Schools and shut down.