Accessibility links

Breaking News

British Court Extends Custody for Nine Terrorism Suspects, Frees Two

A British court has given authorities more time to question nine of 11 suspects about their alleged roles in this month's foiled terrorist plot to blow up U.S. airliners departing from London's Heathrow airport.

The court ruled police could keep eight suspects for another week, and one suspect until later Thursday without filing charges.

Two other suspects were released Wednesday without charge.

Reports say one of those released is Tayib Rauf, whose older brother, Rashid, is one of seven suspects detained in Pakistan in connection with the case. Rashid Rauf is regarded as key figure in the foiled plot.

London prosecutors already have charged 11 other suspects who remain in custody.

British anti-terrorism laws allow terrorism suspects to be held without charge for a maximum of 28 days, but police must get weekly court approval.

Wednesday's custody extensions are the first time British authorities have gone past the previous limit of 14 days for holding suspects.

Eight of those already charged are accused of conspiracy to commit murder, and preparing to commit terrorism. The other three face related charges.

All of the defendants are residents of Britain, and are under 30-years-old. They all are said to deny any wrongdoing.

British authorities say they have seized bomb-making materials, suicide notes and martyrdom videos in their ongoing probe. Other evidence is said to include fingerprints and DNA, and data from 400 computers and 200 cell phones.

Britain revealed the bombing plot on August 10.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.