Man faces court accused of plotting with 'shoe bomber'

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The Independent Online

A British Muslim appeared in court in London yesterday charged with conspiring with the "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to cause a life-threatening explosion.

Sajid Badat, 24, from St James Street, Gloucester, was arrested last Thursday as part of a series of anti-terrorist raids across the country.

During the hearing at Bow Street magistrates' court Mr Badat faced two charges of possessing explosive devices.

The court heard he was charged with unlawfully and maliciously conspiring with Richard Reid and "others unknown" to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property by explosive device.

The planning of the explosion is alleged to have taken place either within or outside the UK between 1 September, 2001 and 20 November, 2003.

Mr Badat was also charged with unlawfully or maliciously having in his possession or under his control during the same period an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

A third charge against Mr Badat was that on 27 November, 2003, he knowingly had an explosive substance "under such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that you did not have it in your possession or under your control for a lawful object".

District Judge Timothy Workman ordered that Mr Badat, who spoke only to confirm his name and address, be remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 11 December.

Mr Badat's arrest came 11 months after Reid, 29, began a life sentence imposed by a US district court in Boston for trying to blow up an American Airlines transatlantic jet, carrying 197 passengers.

In the past week, police in the UK have arrested more than 20 people across the country under anti-terrorism laws, in a series of raids they say are unconnected.

The arrests came a week after British security services were put on the second highest level of alert. Intelligence officials had warned that a terror attack could be imminent.

Yesterday, a further four men detained last week under the Terrorism Act were charged with conspiring to defraud clearing banks. A spokeswoman for Sussex Police named them as Mohammed Khatimi, aged 29, from Eastbourne, Samir Adimi, 20, of no fixed address, and 28-year-old Mohammed Rida, of East Sussex. Mostapha Safi, 32, from Leytonstone, east London, who was detained last Friday, faced the same charge, while a fifth man was released.

The four men are expected to appear before Bow Street magistrates' court today.