5 British Terror Suspects to Stay in Custody, 3 Others Charged

Five suspects in the alleged airline terror plot in Britain had their custody extended by one more week, police said Wednesday.

The decision means that investigators can continue to question the five men until Sept. 6, when they will either have to be charged or released.

British law allows police to hold suspected terrorists for a maximum of 28 days without charge, subject to court approval.

Of the 25 people arrested in raids on Aug. 9-10, 15 have been charged. Five remain in custody without charge, and five have been released.

None of the five suspects in court Wednesday were identified, but lawyer Khalid Elahi said his client, Muhammed Usman Saddique, 24, was among them.

In brief remarks outside the Paddington Green police station, Elahi said Saddique had been strip-searched by investigators.

"My client has had a very difficult 21 days in police custody," he said. "During this time he has been questioned continuously on a regular basis under extremely difficult conditions."

Earlier, three other suspects in the alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners with liquid explosives were denied bail during their arraignment.

Mohammed Yasar Gulzar, 25, Mohammed Shamin Uddin, 35, and Nabeel Hussain, 22, were charged late Tuesday with two offenses, conspiracy to commit murder and preparing to commit terrorism by planning to smuggle explosives aboard the planes, London's Metropolitan Police said.

The men made their first court appearance Wednesday amid tight security at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, in central London.

All three wore white prison-issue sweat shirts and were flanked by six security officers in the courtroom's glass-fronted dock.

District Judge Nicholas Evans, the presiding magistrate, denied Hussain's application for bail. Lawyers for the two other suspects did not seek bail.

The court first scheduled a next hearing for Sept. 4 at the Central Criminal Court — when eight others accused of the same offenses are due to appear before a judge — but changed the date to Sept. 18 after defense and prosecution lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

Eleven people have now been charged on those counts of conspiracy to murder and preparing to commit terrorist acts.

Four others are accused of lesser offenses, including withholding from police information about a planned terrorist act.

On Tuesday, a judge ordered Nabeel's brother Mehran Hussain held in custody until Sept. 19 in connection with the alleged plot. Their other brother, Umair Hussain, is in custody and charged with failing to disclose information.

Investigators have said they are analyzing thousands of pieces of evidence seized in searches of at least 50 properties and two stretches of woodland.

Investigators are examining hundreds of hours of covert audio and video surveillance and at least six alleged martyrdom video tapes, law enforcement officials said.

Officials said they had also recovered wills some of the men had allegedly drafted, apparently showing they intended to commit suicidal acts of terrorism. They said one document refers to having "limbs torn away" in a martyrdom operation as a blessing.

Police have discovered chemicals that can be used to make bombs, including hydrogen peroxide, and electrical components during their searches, said Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist department.

More than 8,000 items of data storage, such as compact discs, DVDs and memory sticks, were found, authorities said.