7/7 bombers plotted to blow up Big Ben and the Palace
The 7/7 suicide bombers planned a devastating strike on Big Ben and Buckingham Palace before they blew themselves up on London's transport network.
They also considered targeting the London Eye and Trafalgar Square before killing 52 and injuring nearly 1,000 by blowing themselves up on three Tube trains and a bus.The sensational revelation emerged yesterday as three British-born Muslims were charged with plotting alongside the July 7 suicide bombers.
Their alleged plans culminated in the horrific explosions of summer 2005.
These are the first charges brought by police investigating the attacks and represent a major breakthrough in the 21-month inquiry.
The three are accused of planning the bombings and carrying out reconnaissance missions eight months before Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shezad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay unleashed their carnage.
Those charged yesterday are Mohammed Shakil, 30, Waheed Ali, 23, and Sadeer Saleem, 26.
Shakil and Ali were arrested at Manchester Airport on March 22. Saleem was arrested at his home in Leeds.
They were taken to highsecurity Paddington Green station in London for questioning.
All are due to appear before Westminster magistrates tomorrow morning.
They are accused, between November 1, 2004 and 29 June, 2005, of 'unlawfully and maliciously' conspiring with the four bombers and others to cause explosions on the London transport system and/or tourist attractions in London likely to endanger life or cause serious injury. The Metropolitan police have long held the belief that the terrorists were supported and financed by a larger network based both here and abroad.
Peter Clarke, head of Counter Terrorism Command, warned that the hunt for all those responsible was far from over.
He said it was 'highly likely' that more arrests would follow.
Officers have taken over 15,000 statements and followed 19,000 leads to date.
A team has also been based in Beeston, Leeds where the three arrested men live. Khan, Tanweer and Hussain were all closely connected with Beeston's mosques, youth clubs, gyms and Islamic book shops.
Mr Clarke said: 'I appreciate that bringing these charges will have an impact on many people. For some it will bring back horrible memories of that terrible day.
'For others there may be some relief that after such a length of time there is some visible progress in an investigation that has had to be kept secret.
'I only wish that I could share with you the extent if what we have discovered but I cannot.
'That must wait for the trial of those who have been charged or any other who may be charged in the future.'
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