LONDON - Three British Muslims arrested during an investigation into an alleged plot to blow up US-bound airliners have been charged with conspiracy to murder and commit acts of terrorism, police said today.
Mohammed Yasar Gulzar, Mohammed Shamin Udin, 35, and Nabeel Hussain, 22, brought to 15 the number of people charged in connection with the plot and to 11 those facing the most serious charges of conspiracy to murder and planning acts of terrorism.
The 11 are all accused of plotting to smuggle parts of home-made bombs onto planes, then build the bombs and detonate them.
British police announced on August 10 they had thwarted a plot to blow up several US-bound airliners over the Atlantic by smuggling liquid explosives on to flights.
All three men charged are due to appear at a magistrates' court in central London on Wednesday.
All of those arrested are British Muslims and most are of Pakistani origin.
Five people remain in custody who have not so far been charged. Detectives have until Wednesday evening to decide whether to charge them, let them go or ask for more time to question them.
They have a maximum of seven more days before they have to charge or release the five.
According to news reports, Nabeel Hussain is the brother of Umair Hussain and Mehran Hussain, both charged with failing to disclose information that could have prevented a terrorist attack.
The alleged plot came to light 13 months after four British Islamist suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 other people at rush hour on public transport in London.
Police said last week they had seized "martyrdom videos", an apparent reference to testaments by would-be suicide bombers, as part of a huge probe into the suspected plot that included scores of searches of houses, cars and open spaces.
Pakistani authorities have arrested several people, including two Britons, in connection with the plot.
The British government raised the threat level to "critical" - the highest rating - and imposed tight restrictions on carry-on baggage by airline passengers for several days after August 10, causing chaos at airports at the height of the summer holidays.
US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, writing in The Washington Post on Tuesday, said the United States needed broader access to information from Europe on passengers boarding flights to US destinations.