Five men on terror plot charges

A man accused of plotting to seize and kill a member of the British armed forces appeared in court yesterday for the first time.

Parviz Khan, 36, is accused together with Amjad Mahmood, who is charged with knowing of Mr Khan's plan and thereby committing a terrorist offence by failing to tell the police.

In all, five men arrested over the alleged plot in raids by police in Birmingham on January 31 stood in the dock for the first time yesterday. All are accused of supplying goods for use in terrorist acts, and with supplying money or property for use in terrorism.

Alongside Mr Khan and Mr Mahmood at City of Westminster magistrates court in central London were Hamid Elasmar, 43; Mohammed Irfan, 30; and Zahoor Iqbal, 29, who teaches IT

Earlier, at a press conference given by West Midlands police in Birmingham, senior officers and prosecutors described an investigation they said still had a long way to go. The head of the Crown Prosecution Service's counter-terrorism division, Sue Hemming, said she had worked closely with the Midlands counter-terrorism unit and the director of public prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, since the arrests 10 days ago, in order, she said, to decide as quickly as possible on whether to lay charges.