Five charged with plotting bomb attack

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The Independent Online

Five men arrested in a series of police raids in London and the Home Counties last week were charged with involvement in a terrorist bomb plot yesterday.

Five men arrested in a series of police raids in London and the Home Counties last week were charged with involvement in a terrorist bomb plot yesterday.

Seven hundred police officers took part in the operation last Tuesday. Half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertiliser was found in a self-storage unit in west London.

Anthony Garcia, 21, of Ilford, Essex, Jawad Akbar, 20, of Crawley, West Sussex, Omar Khyam, 22, of Crawley and Waheed Mahmoud, 32, also of Crawley, have been charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or injure property under the Explosives Substance Act 1883.

The men are alleged to have "unlawfully and maliciously" conspired to cause an explosion between 1 October 2003 and 31 March this year. Separate charges under the 2000 Terrorism Act of possession of ammonium nitrate for purposes of terrorism were levelled against Mr Garcia, Mr Khyam and a fifth man, Nabeel Hussain, 18, from Horley, Surrey. They are charged with keeping the chemical at Access Self Storage Ltd in Hanwell, west London.

They are accused of possessing the fertiliser "in circumstances which gave rise to reasonable suspicion that your possession was for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism". All five men are due to appear at Belmarsh magistrates' court, south-east London, tomorrow.

A 17-year-old suspect, who has not been named because of his age, appeared in court yesterday, also charged under the Explosive Substances Act 1883. The teenager, from Sussex, was remanded in custody until 14 Aprilat Bow Street magistrates' court in London.

Three others have had allegations of offences under the Terrorism Act dropped but have been re-arrested in connection with non-terrorist charges.

A 27-year-old teacher, Nadeem Ashraf, was released yesterday on police bail to return to a police station in July to face charges of deception. Two other men, who have not been named, were released on similar terms: a 21-year-old who is being investigated for forgery and theft and 19-year-old who is being questioned about theft and deception.