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Air plot suspects appear in court

One of four police prison vans takes 11 terror suspects to court Tuesday.




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Great Britain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Eleven suspects charged in the alleged plot to bomb trans-Atlantic airliners have made their first court appearances in London.

The first eight to appear, all charged with conspiracy to murder and preparing to commit terrorism, were ordered to be remanded in custody until next month. No bail applications were made.

Tanvir Hussain, 25, Ahmed Ali, 25, Umar Islam, 28, Arafat Khan, 25, Assad Ali Sarwar, 26, Adam Khatib, 19, Ibrahim Savant, 25 and Waheed Zaman, 22, all were ordered to be held until a second court appearance on September 4. None applied for bail.

Hussain's lawyer, Mohammed Zeb, told the judge, according to The Associated Press: "All allegations are denied."

Also remanded in custody were a 17-year-old male charged with possessing articles that could be used to prepare a terrorist act, and two others charged with failing to disclose information that could help prevent a terrorist act.

British authorities initially arrested 24 suspects after revealing the plot to blow up airliners heading from Britain to the United States. Since then, two suspects have been released.

The other 11 are still being held without charge.

The charges stem from a cache of information seized during the months-long investigation into the plot, including "highly significant video and audio recordings" taken before August 10, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said at a news conference on Monday.

Those recordings include what are called "martyrdom videos," Clarke said.

British authorities have carried out a total of 69 searches of residences, businesses, vehicles and open spaces, which have netted bomb-making equipment and chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, Clarke said.

"As well as the bomb-making equipment, we have found more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 items of removable storage media such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs," he said.

"So far, from the computers alone, we have removed some 6,000 gigabytes of data."

It will take "many months" for investigators to analyze all of the data, he said. CNN's Robin Oakley said the sheer amount of material seized by police indicated that it would be some time before a trial starts.

Oakley said he believed police had revealed so much information partly to assure the public that the terror threat remained high more than a year after the London bombings that killed 52 people and the four bombers.

He added that Scotland Yard was probably also keen to show it was avoiding mistakes it had made in previous terror investigations.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, law enforcement authorities continued to interrogate Rashid Rauf, a Briton of Pakistani descent, over his alleged key role in the plot, officials told The Associated Press.

Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said British police were conducting inquiries in Pakistan but were not involved in questioning Rauf.

Authorities say the suspects plotted to use liquid explosives on as many as 10 flights, using commercial electronic devices as detonators.

The alleged plot's disclosure earlier this month sparked heightened terror alerts in Britain and the United States and ushered in tighter security regulations on airline passengers.

Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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