Eight men arrested in an anti-terrorism swoop have been charged by British police with attempting to launch a radioactive or chemical attack.
The suspects were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and some accused of plotting a terror campaign against major financial landmarks in the USA.
The men were among those seized in a series of raids in London, the Home Counties and in Lancashire two weeks ago, reports Sky News.
One of the suspects, Dhiren Barot, 32, was accused of possessing reconnaissance plans of the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund in Washington, Citigroup Inc.'s offices in New York and the Prudential building in New Jersey, police said in an e-mailed statement. All the locations were at the center of a heightened terror alert in the U.S. this month.
``For several weeks, the Department of Justice has been working closely and cooperatively on this important matter with British authorities and other partners in the war against terror,'' U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said in an e-mailed statement from Washington. ``We commend the U.K.'s action today in bringing criminal charges against individuals who may have connections to potential terrorist activities in the U.S.'', informs Bloomberg.
Nadeem Tarmohammed, 26 were also charged jointly under the Terrorism Act with having reconnaissance plans of the Prudential Building in New Jersey. Another man, Quaisar Shaffi, 25, also of Willesden, was charged under the Terrorism Act over possession of an extract from the “Terrorist’s Handbook“, a bomb-making guide available on the Internet. The extract was alleged to contain instructions on preparing chemicals and explosives.
Barot, Tarmohammed and Shaffi were jointly charged with plotting to murder and use explosive or toxic devices with five other men, writes Scotsman.
In accordance with the Times of India, Barot was born into a Hindu family in India and converted to Islam when he was 20. He took part in terrorist campaigns against Indian forces in Kashmir and is said to have been the main casing agent for Al Qaida.
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