Five men arrested during a series of anti-terrorism raids in the UK appeared in court today charged with taking part in a suspected bomb plot.
The British men, all of Pakistani origin and aged between 19 and 32, were casually dressed and spoke only to confirm their names during the hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in south east London.
Jawad Akbar, 20, Omar Khyam, 22, and Waheed Mahmoud, 32 – all from Crawley, West Sussex – and Anthony Garcia, 21, of Ilford, Essex, were charged with conspiring to cause an explosion under the Explosive Substance Act 1883.
They are alleged to have “unlawfully and maliciously” participated in a conspiracy between October 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004, along with a 17-year-old, who has already been charged and cannot be named for legal reasons, and a Canadian, Mohammed Khawaja, who has appeared in court in Ottawa on terrorism charges.
Garcia, Khyam and 19-year-old Nabeel Hussain, of Horley, west Sussex, were also charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 with possession of an article for the purposes of terrorism.
The three are alleged to have had 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser at Access Self Storage Ltd in Hanwell, west London, between November 11, 2003, and March 31, 2004, in circumstances that provided “reasonable suspicion it was for purposes connected with terrorism”.
As around 25 family members and supporters looked on from the public gallery, all the men were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday. No applications for bail were made.
The five charged today were among nine men arrested during a series of anti-terrorism raids in south east England last week.