Monday 19 February 2018

Muslim accused of plot to kill US airman with a car

The man is suspected of planning to run over a US serviceman with a car
The man is suspected of planning to run over a US serviceman with a car

Gregory Katz in London

A British Muslim man has been accused in court of planning an attack against US military personnel in the UK.

Junead Ahmed Khan (24) is suspected of planning to run over a US serviceman with a car, prosecutors said.

He is also charged, along with his 22-year-old uncle Shazib Ahmed Khan, of planning to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group (Isil).

The two men appeared in Westminster Magistrates' Court accused of planning various acts of terrorism. They were arrested last week.

Prosecutors said the men had looked into the possibility of buying combat gear before travelling to Syria to join extremists there.

It is a violation of British law for Britons to go to Syria intending the help the militants, who control parts of Syria and Iraq.

The two were remanded in custody until their next court hearing on August 10.

Police said they have been charged with two counts of being involved in preparation with the intention to commit acts of terrorism. The first count, against both men, accuses them of preparing acts of terrorism between August 1, 2014 and May 10, 2015.

The second count, against Junead Khan only, accuses him of preparing to commit acts of terrorism from May 10, 2015 until July 14, 2015.

That is the day both men were arrested at separate residences in the Luton area.

Prosecutor Mark Dawson said Junead Khan was accused of "planning to stage a traffic accident, planning to run over a serviceman and use a knife to kill the serviceman".

During the alleged attack, Junead Khan "certainly had in mind the wearing of a suicide vest", Mr Dawson continued.

The arrests are said to be connected to the cancellation of an air show to celebrate the US Independence Day on July 4 at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk.

The two-day event, with the Red Arrows taking part, was to be hosted by members of the United States Air Force (USAF) based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

Apologising for the cancellation, USAF Colonel David Eaglin said at the time: "We have to put public safety first and foremost."

A third man who had been arrested on suspicion of terrorism at the same time was released on Monday evening without being charged.

British officials say some 700 Britons have travelled to Syria in support of Isil.

Irish Independent

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