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Italy charges London bomb suspect

2 more arrests in London




Great Britain
Acts of terror

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- London bombing suspect Hamdi Adus Issac was charged with terrorism under Italian law Monday, according to his court-appointed lawyer.

Attorney Antonietta Sonnessa told CNN Monday the judge charged Issac with international terrorism and with possessing false documents based on the evidence received from London authorities about the July 21 bombings on three Underground trains and a double-decker bus.

He did not rule out further inquiry into whether Issac was involved in terrorist activities in Italy, she said.

Sonnessa said the judge made no decision during Monday's proceedings on Britain's request to extradite Issac, and it wasn't clear if the Italian charges would have any effect on that procedure.

She said Sunday that Issac would contest the extradition, a move that could delay the process up to 90 days.

Issac and three others are accused of participation in the July 21 bombing attacks on the London transit system; a fifth man is believed to have abandoned his bomb-laden backpack in a London park.

All four of the other men are in custody in London.

Meanwhile, British police said they arrested two more men Monday in connection with those attacks. Police executed a search warrant at two homes in Stockwell and a third in Clapham, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

The arrests there were "on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism," the spokesman said. The men were taken to a central London police station.

Also on Monday, British transport police sent reinforcements from around the country to patrol London's subway system in a show of force meant to discourage more suicide attacks. (Full story)

Issac's brothers also arrested

According to a source who was present when authorities interrogated Issac in Rome, the Ethiopian-born suspect confessed to carrying a bomb onto a train but said the bombs had not been meant to kill anyone.

The source said Issac told investigators that the July 21 attack was meant as a demonstration to grab attention in protest of the Iraq war and that the attack had no connection to the lethal July 7 bombings -- also on London's transit system -- nor to the terror group al Qaeda. (Full story)

The four suicide bombings on July 7 killed 52 commuters and wounded more than 700; a previously unknown group calling itself al Qaeda in Europe issued a claim of responsibility, but CNN has been unable to verify the authenticity of that claim.

Issac's brother Ramzi Issac, who was arrested along with the London suspect on Friday, was also charged with possessing false documents, Sonnessa said. A third brother, Fati Issac, is in custody in the northern Italian province of Brescia.

The July 21 bombings, which wounded one person when the bombs failed to detonate properly, prompted a massive manhunt, beginning with video images London police said were the four suspects.

Yasin Hassan Omar, a 24-year-old Somali who had a legal British residency, was arrested Wednesday in Birmingham, about 100 miles north of London.

Two days later, police captured Ibrahim Muktar Said and Ramzi Mohammed after a stand-off at a north London apartment. Said, 27, is a naturalized British citizen born in Eritrea. No age or national information was available on Mohammed.

An unnamed suspect -- believed to have dropped his unexploded bomb in Little Wormwood Scrubs -- was also arrested on Friday about a mile from the apartment where Said and Mohammed were found.

London police tracked Issac -- originally identified as a Somali named Hussain Osman because he had entered Britain with a fake passport in that name -- via his cell phone usage to brother Ramzi's apartment in Rome.

Rome's anti-terrorism chief, Carlo De Stefano, told reporters Monday that after Issac fled London by train on July 26, he made several calls, including many to Milan, and at least one to a number in Saudi Arabia.

De Stefano said Issac "gave himself up immediately" when police found him.

Issac first came to Italy from Ethiopia in 1991, De Stefano said, and his residency permit expired in 1996. At some point in the late 1990s, De Stefano said he left Italy with another brother, identified as Wahib Issac, and presented himself to British authorities as a political asylum seeker from Somalia named Hussain Osman.

Issac was eventually granted British citizenship, De Stefano said. The British Home Office would not immediately confirm the immigration record.

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