Man charged with plot to kill soldier

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The Independent Online

One of the men arrested last week in Birmingham has been charged with plotting to kidnap and kill a member of the British armed forces.

The head of the Crown Prosecution Service counter terrorism division, Sue Hemming, told a press conference at West Midlands police headquarters that Parviz Khan and four other men, who were detained in Birmingham on 31 January, had been charged with various offences under the Terrorism Act.

Khan, who was named in papers released after the news conference, is accused of engaging in conduct "to give effect to his intention to kidnap and kill a member of the British armed forces" between November 1 last year and the time of his arrest last week.

Khan and the other men, named as Mohammed Irfan, 30, Zahoor Iqbal, 29, Hamid Elasmar, 43, and Amjad Mahmood, 31, were due to appear before magistrates in central London later today.

Khan is also accused of two other offences contrary to the Terrorism Act, including an allegation that he attempted to supply equipment for use in committing acts of terrorism.

A further charge alleges that he became concerned in an arrangement through which money or other property was made available or was to be made available for the purposes of terrorism.

Three of the nine men arrested on 31 January have been released without charge while another man remains in custody at Coventry's Chace Avenue police station.

Ms Hemming told reporters that she and another senior CPS lawyer had carefully examined and assessed the evidence against each of the five individuals before deciding to charge them.

She added: "One has been charged with an offence of engaging in conduct to give effect to his intention to kidnap and kill a member of the Armed Forces contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

"He has also been charged with another Section 5 offence of engaging in conduct to give effect to his intention to supply equipment to others for use in acts of terrorism.

"Additionally, he faces a third charge of entering into or becoming concerned in a funding arrangement whereby money or other property was to be made available to another and he knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that it would be or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.

"Four other individuals have been charged with a second Section 5 offence and the funding arrangement.

"One of those four individuals has also been charged with failing to disclose information of material assistance in preventing an act of terrorism."

Ms Hemming added that the charge of failing to disclose information related to the alleged plot to kidnap a soldier.

"One other man has been released from custody last night and another is still being held pending inquiries," the prosecutor said.

Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw told the news conference he was immensely proud of the work of the CPS, the Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, the Metropolitan Police and MI5 during recent weeks.

He said: "Nine days ago I told you that we were at the foothills of a major investigation.

"We have made extraordinary progress in that time but it would be wrong of me to leave you thinking that this is in any sense a completed inquiry.

"To date we have seized over 4,500 exhibits, which includes computers, mobile phones and many documents."

Mr Shaw stressed that legal proceedings continued to be active and reiterated a call for care and responsibility in reporting of the allegations.

"Although I am extremely encouraged by the way in which this investigation has progressed, it's vital that we do not fail to acknowledge the stark reality of what was being planned in our midst," he added.

"We now have a vital task in working to ensure that we do everything we can to ensure that this type of criminality does not take place."