UK terror suspects charged

The suspects are also accused of being in possession of plans of the New York Stock Exchange and other US-based financial institutions.

The men, detained in daylight raids in London and other parts of England two weeks ago, were also charged with plotting to use deadly weapons possibly including radioactive materials and explosives, police said in a statement.

London’s Metropolitan Police said it was alleged the men had “conspired together and with other persons unknown to commit public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and/or explosives”.

The arrests followed a major crackdown against alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and a heightened state of terrorist alert in the United States.

Two of the suspects were charged with possessing what police called “reconnaissance plans” and documents relating to the New York Stock Exchange, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Washington, and the head offices of the banking giant Citigroup in New York City and the insurance and financial services provider Prudential in Newark, New Jersey.

US officials cranked up security in early August around those financial institutions after the Pakistani operation apparently uncovered computer files containing detailed surveillance plans of the buildings.

British Home Secretary David Blunkett said he had been “kept regularly updated throughout the investigations” into the eight men, who are to appear before a magistrate in London on Wednesday.

“We must now let the judicial process take its course,” he said.

The men, aged 20 to 32, were named by the Metropolitan Police as Dhiren Barot, Mohammed Naveed Bhatti, Abdul Aziz Jalil, Omar Abdul Rehman, Junade Feroze, Zia Ul Haq, Qaisar Shaffi and Nadeem Tarmohammed.

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