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UK charges two Asians with plotting against US military

Within hours of Prime Minister David Cameron announcing a five-year strategy to counter terrorism, two Asians were charged with offences under the Terrorism Act, 2006 – including one for an alleged plot to target US military personnel in the UK.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2017 15:40 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that conspiracy theories of a Western plan to destroy Islam must be challenged in efforts to counter radicalisation. (AFP)
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that conspiracy theories of a Western plan to destroy Islam must be challenged in efforts to counter radicalisation. (AFP)

Within hours of Prime Minister David Cameron announcing a five-year strategy to counter terrorism, two Asians were charged with offences under the Terrorism Act, 2006 – including one for an alleged plot to target US military personnel in the UK.

Both men are from Luton, near London. Scotland Yard named them as Junead Ahmed Khan, 24, and his uncle, Shazib Ahmed Khan, 22. They were charged on Tuesday with two counts of being involved in the preparation with the intention to commit acts of terrorism.

They appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and were remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on August 10.

The two are the latest to be charged with offences related to travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State, but Junead Ahmed Khan was also charged with allegedly planning to attach US military personnel posted in UK. Luton has a large population of Asian origin.

Deborah Walsh, deputy head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It is alleged that Junead Khan and Shazib Khan had been planning on travelling to Syria to join the proscribed organisation Islamic State in Levant (Isil).

“It is further alleged that Junead Khan was planning a terrorist attack on US military personnel in the UK and he has been charged with an additional terrorism offence to reflect this.”

The Yard said that the two were ‘engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect’ to acts of terrorism between August 1, 2014 and May 10, 2015.

It added that the two men were arrested under the Terrorism Act on Tuesday, July 14. A third man, in his 30s, was also arrested and released without charge on Monday.

The operation was carried out by officers from the UK’s national counter terrorism network, led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) and personnel from Bedfordshire Police and Eastern Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit.