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Haroon Aswat arrested in London

August 08, 2005 09:40 IST
Last Updated: August 08, 2005 11:55 IST

An Indian-origin British citizen, held in Zambia on suspicion of terrorism, has been arrested on his arrival in London, after being deported from the African country even as police charged two more men with conspiracy to murder in connection with the failed July 21 bombings.

Haroon Rashid Aswat, a Briton of Gujarati origin, was arrested late on Sunday night following receipt of a request by the United States for his extradition, Scotland Yard said in a statement in London.

Thirty-year-old Aswat, who is from West Yorkshire, is suspected by the US of being involved in a plot to set up an Al Qaeda training camp in Oregon.

He will be questioned in Britain for his alleged role in last month's deadly bomb attacks in underground train stations and a bus in London which killed 56 people.

Aswat arrived at a Royal Air Force base in Northolt, west of London, in an unmarked Swiss-registered jet on Sunday night, the Scotland Yard said. He was then taken to the Paddington Green police station, it added.

He was arrested by Zambian authorities on 20 July after he entered that country on July 6.

Meanwhile, British police charged two more men with conspiracy to murder in connection with the botched July 21 London bombings.

Muktar Ibrahim Said, suspected of trying to detonate a bomb on a bus in east London, and Ramzi Mohammad, accused of trying to blow up an Underground train at Oval station, have been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to murder, police said.                                                   

Also see: The London Blasts

Police also charged a person, identified as Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, on Sunday over the finding of an explosive device at Little Wormwood Scrubs park in West London on July 23, two days after the failed attacks.

The police have so far charged three bombing suspects -- Muktar Ibrahim Said, Ramzi Mohammad and Yassin Omar -- in connection with the July 21 incident. A fourth suspect Osman Hussain, also known as Hamdi Isaac, is in custody in Italy and faces an extradition hearing on August 17.

Yassin Omar was charged with four offences, including attempted murder, on Saturday, becoming the first of the four suspects to be charged in the case.
Aswat's family, upset over reports that British officials were discussing his extradition with the US government, have called on the UK government to intervene in his case.

"Our government and the FCO are dilly-dallying and do not have the decency to confirm Haroon's detention," the British Broadcasting Corporation quoted them as saying in a statement on Sunday.

British authorities had been 'reticent' about handing him over to the US because of the possibility of him ending up at Guantanamo Bay, the report said.

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