Trials in British Airplane Bomb Plot Unlikely Until 2008, Prosecutor Says

Eight suspects in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft will not be brought to trial until 2008, a prosecutor said Monday.

None of the eight applied for bail during a brief hearing at the Central Criminal Court, and they were ordered to be returned to custody.

Prosecutor Colin Gibbs told the court that there would be no trial before January 2008, and it would most likely be around Easter — which falls on March 23 that year.

The defendants are Tanvir Hussain, 25; Umar Islam, 28; Arafat Khan, 25; Ahmed Abdullah Ali, 25; Ibrahim Savant, 25; Waheed Zaman, 22; Assad Ali Sarwar, 26; and Adam Khatib, 19.

All are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and preparing to commit terrorism.

Six of the suspects are from east London and two are from suburban High Wycombe, about 30 miles northwest of the city.

Prosecutors have alleged the group plotted to detonate improvised bombs on board as many as 10 planes. A total of 15 people have been charged with offenses, five have been released and investigators have until Wednesday to questions five others.

Police have for the first time used new powers to hold terrorism suspects for 28 days before they must be charged or released.

Senior counterterrorism officials from across Europe have also been briefed on the investigation, which investigators said involved inquiries around the world.

Police have said they found hydrogen peroxide, bomb-making components and six martyrdom videos during nearly 70 searches of homes, businesses, vehicles and open spaces, including a stretch of woods in High Wycombe.

Investigators also are examining around 8,000 DVDs, memory sticks and data-storage devices seized during raids.