Three Charged in Plot to Kill British Prime Minister

Three men charged in connection with alleged threats to assassinate Britain's prime minister appeared in court for the first time Friday.

All were ordered to be held until their next appearance at City of Westminster Magistrates Court.

Ishaq Kanmi, 22, of Blackburn, England, was charged with soliciting murder, belonging or professing to belong to Al Qaeda, inviting support for Al Qaeda, and dissemination of terrorist publications.

Abbas Iqbal, 23, and Ilyas Iqbal, 21, brothers from Blackburn, were charged with possession of an article suspected to be connected with an act of terrorism.

Abbas Iqbal also was charged with distributing terrorist publications, and his brother was accused of possessing an item suspected of being useful for the preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Two other men are being questioned by police but have not been charged.

Police and prosecutors have not confirmed media reports that the men were being held in connection with a Web site posting signed "Al Qaeda in Britain" that threatened the life of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessor, Tony Blair. The British Broadcasting Corp. has reported that no actual assassination plot was in place.

Kanmi and Abbas Iqbal were arrested Aug. 14 at Manchester Airport in northern England — reportedly as they were about to board a flight to Finland, although police have refused to comment on their destination. Ilya Iqbal was arrested in Accrington, about 35 miles north of the airport.