3 swept up in U.K. terror raid charged with making explosive device, obtaining weapons
(CBS/AP) LONDON - Three men from central England have been charged with terrorism offenses after a series of raids last week, British police said Monday.
The men were arrested after a search of an impounded vehicle turned up guns and other weapons, prompting police to trace and arrest the driver, passenger and other suspects.
West Midlands Police said in a statement that the three are charged with "engaging in conduct in preparation for an act or acts of terrorism, with the intention of committing such acts."
The alleged conduct includes the manufacture of an improvised explosive device, the acquisition of firearms and other weapons, and the purchase of cars connected with their plans between May 1 and July 4, police added.
Britain's Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it had authorized the charges against the men but declined to comment on a possible target, attack, or at what stage any alleged plans had been.
The men Jewel Uddin, 26, Omar Mohammed Khan, 27, and Mohammed Hasseen, 23 will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Tuesday. All are from Birmingham in central England.
Police said four other men arrested in relation to the same investigation remain in custody.
Over the past week, 14 people have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism activity. Police insist none of the cases are linked to plots against the upcoming London Olympics, which run July 27-Aug. 12.
Britain's terror level is currently ranked as substantial the third highest point on a five-point scale and means an attack is a strong possibility. Intelligence officials say there has been an expected increase in chatter among extremist groups ahead of the Olympics, but there are still no specific or credible threats targeting the games.
The arrests of the seven people were announced one day after officers in London detained six other terror suspects using stun guns and smoke grenades in an early-morning swoop on a home close to London's Olympic Park.
Given the increased chatter, authorities are responding to potential threats with great assertiveness. On Thursday armed police closed part of the M6 motorway after reports of suspicious activity on a bus. A passenger's "smoking bag" turned out to contain an electronic cigarette.
Last week, two Muslim men were arrested - and later released without charge - after they were spotted canoeing on the River Lee, a branch of which runs through the Olympic site.
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