Terror plot suspects charged

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The Independent Online

Eleven suspects arrested over the alleged airliner bomb plot have been charged as police revealed they have found bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos.

Eight of the eleven have been charged with two offences of conspiracy to murder and a new offence of preparing acts of terrorism contrary to section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.The other three have been charged with other offences under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Susan Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division, said: "We have been carefully examining and assessing the evidence against each individual with the assistance of anti-terrorist officers in order to come to charging decisions at the earliest practicable opportunity."

The decision to charge was taken this morning with the approval of the Director of Public Prosecutions, she added.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke revealed that the police investigation had uncovered bomb making equipment including chemicals and electrical components and so-called martyrdom videos.

Mr Clarke said: "First there is evidence from surveillance carried out before August 10. This includes important, indeed highly significant, video and audio recordings.

"Since August 10 we have found bomb-making equipment. There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items. We have also found a number of video recordings. These are sometimes referred to as martyrdom videos."

Sarwar, Adam Khatib, Ibrahim Savant and Waheed Aman are all charged with conspiracy to murder and with an offence under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.

In a highly unusual development, Mr Clarke went into significant detail about the evidence so far uncovered by police inquiries.He said: "I shall try to give you an idea of the size and complexity of this investigation.

"There have been 69 searches. These have been in houses, flats and business premises, vehicles and open spaces."

Searches had also found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 computer media items such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs, he said.

"The scale is immense. Inquiries will span the globe."The enormity of the alleged plot will be matched only by our determination to follow every lead and line of inquiry."He said that so far police experts have removed 6,000 gigabytes of data from the seized computers alone.

He told the London press conference: "The meticulous investigation of all this material will take many months. All the data will be analysed. There will be thousands of forensic examinations and comparisons.

"Fingerprints, DNA, electronic data, handwriting comparisons, chemical analysis and indeed the full range of forensic disciplines will be used.

"I would like to reassure the public that we are doing everything we can to keep you safe - for you to live your lives without being in constant fear.

"However, we must be realistic. The threat from terrorism is real. It is here, it is deadly and it is enduring. As we all look for explanations we cannot afford to be complacent and ignore the reality of what we face.

"These are difficult times for all communities but I can assure you that the police service will not flinch from its duty to protect the public."