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UK 'air plot' suspect remanded

One of four police prison vans takes 11 terror suspects to court Tuesday.




Great Britain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British judge has remanded in custody another of the 24 suspects arrested earlier this month in connection with an alleged plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean.

Umair Hussain, 24, is charged with his brother Mehran with failing to disclose information that could help prevent an act of terrorism.

District Court Judge Daphne Wickham on Friday denied Hussain bail and ordered him to appear in court on September 1. A date for a committal hearing was set for September 19.

Hussain spoke only to confirm his name and age during a brief appearance in court.

Hussain's lawyer, Timur Rustem, told reporters outside City of Westminster Magistrates Court in central London he was surprised by the charge, which relates to disclosing information about Hussain's younger brother Nabeel. He said he also believed there were questions about its legality.

British media say Nabeel is one of eight people still in custody who have not been charged with any offense.

Rustem said he had lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission about the conditions in which Hussain was held while being questioned at Paddington Green Police Station in north London.

"He's a cheerful soul, he's taking it quite philosophically," Rustem said. "He knows it is a serious investigation."

Eleven suspects were charged on Monday in connection with the alleged plot to blow up airliners heading from Britain to the United States with liquid explosives. Of the 24 suspects arrested on April 10, four have been released.

Eight of the suspects face charges of conspiracy to murder and intent to commit acts of terrorism. The Hussain brothers and the mother of an 8-month-old baby face the lesser charges of failing to disclose information.

Also remanded in custody was a 17-year-old male charged with possessing articles that could be used to prepare a terrorist act.

The charges stem from a cache of information seized during the months-long investigation into the plot, including "highly significant video and audio recordings" taken before August 10, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said at a news conference on Monday.

Those recordings include what are called "martyrdom videos," Clarke said.

British authorities have carried out a total of 69 searches of residences, businesses, vehicles and open spaces, which have netted bomb-making equipment and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, Clarke said.

"As well as the bomb-making equipment, we have found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 items of removable storage media such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs," he said.

"So far, from the computers alone, we have removed some 6,000 gigabytes of data."

It will take "many months" for investigators to analyze all of the data, he said. CNN's Robin Oakley said the sheer amount of material seized by police indicated that it would be some time before a trial starts.

The alleged plot's disclosure earlier this month sparked heightened terror alerts in Britain and the United States and ushered in tighter security regulations on airline passengers.

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