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Scotland Yard Charges Suspect in Terror Case

September 19, 2002|From Associated Press

LONDON — Police have arrested a computer programmer and charged him with collecting information that could be used to plan a terrorist attack, Scotland Yard said Wednesday.

Mohammed Abdullah Azam, 32, from Luton, 30 miles northwest of London, was arrested Sunday and has been charged under the anti-terrorism laws, a Scotland Yard official said on condition of anonymity.

He said Azam had been charged with collecting information "of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or had in his possession documents or records containing information of that kind."

The official would give no further details and said he had no information about whether the suspect was linked to any specific group or organization.

Azam is due to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London today.

Three other men, two age 21 and one age 23, also were arrested Sunday in Luton under the Terrorism Act, but they were released Wednesday.

On Sept. 6, David Veness, head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad, said there was no known specific threat to Britain and encouraged people to carry on "business as usual."

"We shouldn't underestimate these individuals," he said. "An individual is not incapable of causing serious impact and that is something we are alert to. Our intention is to enhance the deterrent."

Security forces and police are better prepared to deal with any terrorist attacks than they were a year ago, and his officers have received advice from police in other countries that have more experience with suicide bombers, he said.

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