9 charged in terror case to appear in London courtroom

LONDON. December 27. KAZINFORM Nine men arrested a week ago across England have been charged with terrorism offenses and conspiracy to cause explosions, West Midlands police said Monday. Kazinform refers to BBC News.

"I have reviewed the evidence provided to me by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and I am satisfied there is sufficient for a realistic prospect of conviction, and it is in the public interest that these men should be charged with these offenses," said Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division.

The men are charged with "unlawfully and maliciously" conspiring to cause an explosion or explosions "likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom," according to a police statement. They are also accused of conducting research, agreeing on potential targets and testing incendiary material.

The men will appear at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court Monday morning. All of those charged are between 19 and 28 years old and were arrested in Cardiff, London and Stoke-on-Trent.

Three others arrested during the December 20 raids have been released without charges.

The suspects were not planning a "Mumbai-style" attack, in which gunmen sprayed bullets at crowded public places in India, and there is no known link to a suicide bombing in Sweden earlier this month, according to a security source, who did not want to be identified.

A senior UK official not authorized to speak on the record said the suspects were more "aspirational" rather than equipped and "ready to go."

The arrests were "necessary" to "ensure public safety," Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Yates said last week.

He did not say what the suspected target was, but said the men were arrested on suspicion of "preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in the UK."

London saw a large-scale terror attack on July 7, 2005, that left 52 people plus four home-grown suicide bombers dead. A second attempted attack failed two weeks later. Kazinform cites BBC News. See www.bbc.co.uk

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