Alleged al-Qaida plotter held in U.K. on U.S. warrant

Abid Naseer is believed to have been involved in a Manchester bomb plot as well as the New York subway attacks

Published July 14, 2010 2:11PM (EDT)

A Pakistani man alleged to have plotted a major al-Qaida attack in Britain and wanted by U.S. authorities over the New York subway bomb plot was ordered held in custody Wednesday.

Abid Naseer, 24, was arrested July 7 on a U.S. extradition warrant on charges of providing support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiring to support a terror group and "conspiracy to use destructive force."

He appeared via a videolink at London's City of Westminster court and was ordered held until another hearing in the case on Aug. 11.

Naseer was among 12 people arrested last year in anti-terrorism raids across northern England. All were released without charge, but authorities insisted they had thwarted a major al-Qaida bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester.

Few details were released, but authorities said a Manchester shopping mall was likely among the targets.

Prosecutors allege Naseer was actually part of a larger al-Qaida terrorist conspiracy that included the New York subway attack.

At a British hearing last week, U.S. government lawyer Melanie Cumberland said Naseer was an al-Qaida operative motivated by "deeply held religious beliefs."

"The conspiracy was coordinated by al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan. The targets were in the U.S. and in the U.K.," she told the court.

In May, a British judge labeled Naseer an al-Qaida operative, but said he could not be deported to Pakistan because of the likelihood he would be mistreated there.

By Associated Press

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