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The Metropolitan police filed the first charges in their inquiry into the London bombings last night, accusing a south London man of knowing details of the July 21 bombing attempts and failing to alert authorities.
Ismael Abdurahman, 23, from Kennington, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of harbouring a fugitive and re-arrested a day later under the Terrorism Act, police said.
According to the charges filed on Wednesday night, Mr Abdurahman had information that could have helped police find track down those involved in the failed bombings two days after they occurred. but never alerted authorities.
The charges read: “Between July 23 and July 28 he had information he knew or believed might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person...in the UK for an offence involving the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.”
Police said Mr Abdurahman would appear at Bow Magistrates Court today this morning, but said they had no other information about him, including his nationality. whether he was a British national.
In Rome, Separatelythe lawyer for Hamdi Issac, the suspected July 21 bomber bomber held in Italy, told Reuters her client claimed the device explosive he left in a Tube train an Underground car contained flour and was only intended to scare.
“What he said is that is that there were harmless materials, that is, flour,” she said of her client, Hamdi Issac, according to Reuters. “And then there was [the detonator] to make it explode, but only to create a bang.”
Scotland Yard dismissed the claim and Italian authorities are expected to decide this week whether to start extradition hearings for the Ethiopian-born Briton. last night, saying the bombs recovered from the failed bombings contained enough explosives to cause the same amount of damage as those on July 7, which killed 52 commuters.
Mr Issac, who will fight an extradition attempt, is being held in prison on suspicion of criminal association for the purpose of international terrorism. a crime under Italian law, but he If he were to be formally charged in Italy it could raise obstacles to his extradition to the UK.
The court is allowed up to two months to make up its mind from the date of Mr Issac’s arrest in Rome on July 29. lawyer has made clear he will fight any extradition order, meaning the issue would then go to an appeals court and the process would be further delayed.
UK officials are also expected to gain custody of a Briton of Indian descent with suspected ties to al-Qaeda’s leadership who is being held in Zambia.
President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia said Haroon Rashid Aswat a Briton would be deported to the UK after talks with UK and US officials. Mr Aswat was detained in Lusaka last month for “terrorism activities” and violating immigration laws, Mr Mwanawasa said: “The man is going to be handed over to Britain. Whatever happens to him afterward is not Zambia’s problem.”
UK investigators have said Mr Aswat was no longer of interest to them in connection with the July 7 bombings, but US officials said he had been linked to plans to establish a they wanted him to law enforcers have been seeking for more than three years to detain the Briton of Indian descent, after he was linked to a plot to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon. The US has no extradition treaty with Zambia, leaving forcing the UK which has “extradition relations” with Zambia through a Commonwealth treaty, to take the lead. in deportation proceedings. Mr Aswat could be extradited to the US after his return to the UK.
Mr Aswat, came under scrutiny by British investigators because he is from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, the same area as three of the July 7 bombers, had been an aide to Abu Hamsa al-Masri, formerly of Finsbury Park mosque in north London.and US investigators have alleged he has trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.
Foreign Office officials said they were able to meet with Mr Aswat for the first time on Wednesday as part of what was termed a “standard consular meeting”. He told British officials he was being “well looked after”.
Peter Mumba, Zambia’s permanent secretary for home affairs, said Mr Aswat had admitted ties to al-Qaeda but had not acknowledged any role in the London bombings.
Additional reporting by Michael Bleby in Johannesburg