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Alleged al-Qaeda plotter held in UK on US warrant

A Pakistani man alleged to have plotted a major al-Qaeda attack in Britain and wanted by US authorities over the New York subway bomb plot was ordered held in custody on Wednesday.

world Updated: Jul 14, 2010 22:52 IST

A Pakistani man alleged to have plotted a major al-Qaeda attack in Britain and wanted by US authorities over the New York subway bomb plot was ordered held in custody on Wednesday.

Abid Naseer, 24, was arrested July 7 on a US extradition warrant on charges of providing support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiring to support a terror group and "conspiracy to use destructive force."

He appeared via a videolink at London's City of Westminster court and was ordered held until another hearing in the case on August 11.

Naseer was among 12 people arrested last year in anti-terrorism raids across northern England. All were released without charge, but authorities insisted they had thwarted a major al-Qaeda bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester.

Few details were released, but authorities said a Manchester shopping mall was likely among the targets.

Prosecutors allege Naseer was actually part of a larger al-Qaeda terrorist conspiracy that included the New York subway attack.

At a British hearing last week, US government lawyer Melanie Cumberland said Naseer was an al-Qaeda operative motivated by "deeply held religious beliefs."

"The conspiracy was coordinated by al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. The targets were in the US and in the UK," she told the court.

In May, a British judge labeled Naseer an al-Qaeda operative, but said he could not be deported to Pakistan because of the likelihood he would be mistreated there.