x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Six Islamic extremists appear in UK court over suicide bomb plot

Police describe the arrests as the most significant development in counter-terrorism in the UK this year.

Police forensic science officers cover a car on a lowloader on Ladypool Road, near to Turner Street, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, after the arrest of six men in Birmingham as part of a large intelligence-led counter-terrorism operation.
Police forensic science officers cover a car on a lowloader on Ladypool Road, near to Turner Street, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, after the arrest of six men in Birmingham as part of a large intelligence-led counter-terrorism operation.

LONDON // Six Islamist extremists, all British born men, made an initial appearance in court in London yesterday on charges that they planned a major attack by suicide bombers on a British city.

Their appearance came a week after their arrest in raids on homes in Birmingham.

Police in the West Midlands described the arrests as the most significant development in counter-terrorism in the UK this year. Security forces had the group under surveillance since 2010.

Although police are believed to have seized chemicals and bomb-making equipment, the planning for the attacks is thought to have been in its early stages.

Irfan Nasser, 30, and Irfan Khalid, 26, were charged on Sunday evening with travelling to Pakistan for training in weapons, bomb making and poisons. Police said the pair had already made martyrdom videos.

Along with Ashik Ali, 26, and Rahin Ahmed, 25, they were accused of planning suicide bomb attacks, while Mr Ali's brother Bahader, 28, and Mohammed Rizwan, 32, were charged with withholding information that could have prevented an attack.

At their court appearance at the high security West London Magistrates' Court yesterday afternoon, all six were remanded in custody.

A seventh man, 20, who was also arrested in the raids, was still being questioned by police.

dsapsted@thenational.ae