Man accused of plot to kill soldier

A man has been accused of plotting to kidnap and kill a member of the British Armed Forces, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

Four other men have been charged with terrorism offences following a series of raids in Birmingham last week.

Parviz Khan, 36, was charged with plotting to kidnap and kill.

Mohammed Irfan, 30, Zahoor Iqbal, 29, Hamid Elasmar, 43, and Amjad Mahmood, 31, were charged with various terrorism offences.

The five men, all from Birmingham, are due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates in London today.

The head of the CPS counter terrorism division, Sue Hemming, said Khan is accused of giving “effect to his intention to kidnap and kill a member of the British armed forces” between Nov 1 last year and the time of his arrest last week.

Eight suspects were picked up in a series of dawn raids in Birmingham last Wednesday.

A ninth was stopped on a motorway in the city several hours later. Police sources later said the operation was prompted by an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a Muslim soldier serving in the Armed Forces.

Two of the men arrested were subsequently been released without charge and a third was freed this morning.

Police have until 4am tomorrow to question the ninth suspect, who remains in their custody. The five men in court today have been charged under the Terrorism Act 2006 and the Terrorism Act 2000.

West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw said: “Nine days ago I told you that we were at the foothills of a major investigation.

“We have made extraordinary progress in that time but it would be wrong of me to leave you thinking that this is in any sense a completed inquiry.

“To date we have seized over 4,500 exhibits, which includes computers, mobile phones and many documents.

“I am extremely encouraged by the way in which this investigation has progressed”

Detectives have been under pressure to present cases to the CPS following such a high-profile raid.

After two of the men were released last week, the local Muslim community accused the police of stirring up racial tension.

One of the released men, Abu Bakr, later said: “These laws are designed specifically for Muslims. We are feeling the brunt of it all. We are the ones that are being locked up, detained, and then told to go back to our lives.”

Mr Bakr told BBC2’s Newsnight the episode would live with him for the rest of his life.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday February 9, 2007.
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