Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

UK charges two Asians with plotting against US military

IS AGENDA Duo apparently planned to go to Syria and join Islamic State

- Prasun Sonwalkar letters@hindustant­imes.com

LONDON: 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 here. 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.

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