Nine charged in UK with plotting terrorism

LONDON, (Reuters) – Nine men arrested in British  police raids a week ago appeared in court today to face  charges of conspiracy to cause explosions and preparing acts of  terrorism.
The nine were among 12 men seized on Dec. 20 in what police  said were counter-terrorism raids essential to protect the  public from the threat of attack. Three of the 12 were later  released without charge.
The nine remaining suspects appeared at the City of  Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday and were remanded in  custody to appear at London’s Old Bailey court on Jan. 14, the  Press Association news agency said.
“I have today advised the police that nine men should be  charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and with engaging in  conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism with the intention  of either committing acts of terrorism, or assisting another to  commit such acts,” Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution  Service Counter Terrorism Division, said in a statement.
The suspects were from London, the Welsh capital of Cardiff  and the central English city of Stoke. At the time of the  arrests, the BBC reported that most of them were British but  they also included a small number of Bangladeshis.
A police statement said that between Oct. 1 and Nov. 20 they  conspired to cause “explosions of a nature likely to endanger  life or cause serious injury to property”.
It added that between October and Dec. 20, when the men were  arrested, they had been downloading material from the Internet,  researching and discussing potential targets, carrying out  reconnaissance and “igniting and testing incendiary material”.
It did not specify what the potential targets were.
The BBC said in an unsourced report at the time of the  arrests that they were linked to an investigation into al  Qaeda-inspired attacks within Britain. The inquiry was led by  the MI5 domestic security agency and the suspected plot was in  its early stages, it said. Police declined to comment.
Earlier this month, a man apparently radicalised in Britain  blew himself up in a botched attack in Sweden, reviving  criticism of Britain’s record in tackling the threat from  violent militants.

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