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UK terrorist suspects in court

By CNN Correspondent Jim Boulden


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Five men arrested during last week's unprecedented terrorism sweep across South East England appeared in court for the first time Saturday, charged with taking part in a suspected bomb plot.

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Four of the men, 21 year old Anthony Garcia, 20 year old Jawad Akbar, 22 year old Omar Khyam and Waheed Mahmoud, 32 were charged with "conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life."

Garcia, Khyam and 19 year old Nabeel Hussain were charged under the Terrorism Act of 2000 with the "possession of an article for purposes of terrorism" namely a 1/2 ton (600kg) of ammonium nitrate found at a storage facility in west London during last week's raid.

The British-born men spoke only to confirm their names, ages and addresses. The men appeared in casual dress and appeared relaxed, laughing among themselves and with their lawyers. About 30 family members and friends filled the spectator gallery.

A total of nine men were arrested after an operation on March 30 which the police said involved 700 law enforcement officials and the search of 24 locations. Its believed the men were under surveillance for many months.

A 17 year old youth was charged earlier in the week with conspiracy. Three other men have been charged with lesser offences and are on bail.

No details of the alleged bomb plot were revealed during the 10 minute hearing held in a district court attached to the high security Belmarsh prison in South East London.

The lawyers for the accused did not ask for bail. The five men will appear again in a central London criminal court next Thursday, April 15.


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