Three men arrested over failed attempts to bomb Britain's capital appeared in a high-security courtroom on Monday charged with attempting to murder passengers on London's transport system.
A judge remanded Ibrahim Muktar Said, Ramzi Mohammed, and Yassin Hassan Omar in custody until Nov. 14. A fourth suspect in the alleged plot to bomb three underground trains and a double-decker bus on July 21 has been arrested in Italy.
The failed bombings caused no casualties but took place two weeks after four British Muslim men set off bombs on three underground trains and a bus, killing themselves and 52 other people in an attack police have linked to al Qaeda.
The Islamist militant group threatened last week to bring more destruction to Britain and has said Western nations would not live in peace until they withdraw their troops from Iraq and other Muslim countries.
Police arrested Said, aged 27, Mohammed, 23, and Omar, 24, in armed raids in Britain last month. They are all charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and explosives offences. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The defendants in the modern Belmarsh court, part of a prison compound in east London, were dressed in sweatpants and T-shirts or sweatshirts. They will be asked to plead when they appear in court in November, reports Reuters.
According to Bloomberg, another man suspected of abandoning a fifth bomb at a park in the Wormwood Scrubs area of west London, Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 32, was also taken into custody at Belmarsh today on conspiracy to murder and explosives charges.
The four men remanded, who spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses, will next appear at another preliminary hearing on Nov. 14 at London's Central Criminal Court, known as the Old Bailey.
Monday's hearings were held under tight security at the Belmarsh complex, with dozens of uniformed police officers patrolling the area, many of them armed. Police were also using dogs to inspect vehicles entering the premises as well as to detect explosives.
Omar, Ibrahim, and Mohamed have each been charged with four offences: attempting to murder passengers on London's transport system; conspiring with the other bombing suspects to murder passengers on London's transport system; unlawfully and maliciously making or possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property; and conspiring with the other bombing suspects to cause, by an explosive substance, explosions of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
Today's court appearances coincided with a huge security operation at the Belmarsh complex, which is normally home to Woolwich Magistrates Court. Every car entering the court grounds was searched by a team of police officers while pedestrians were checked in a special security tent.
Armed officers also stood guard at several points and near the entrance to the court, which is next to the high security Belmarsh prison, informs Daily Mail.