Three Londoners have been charged in the US with terrorism offences over alleged surveillance of major financial centres in New York, Newark and Washington according to the BBC:
Dhiren Barot, 32, Qaisar Shaffi, 25, and Nadeem Tarmohammed, 26, all of Willesden, north-west London, were arrested in August 2004. US charges that they plotted chemical or radioactive attacks on the buildings carry possible life sentences.
Heavy stuff. And maybe there's something to it seeing as this time the Americans are actually taking the (almost unprecedented) step of laying charges before throwing away the key. Then again the "alleged surveillance" could be pretty flimsy if the last Londonist trip to Washington DC is anything to go by. We rang the FBI (seriously, we really did!) to ask for clarification on what exactly amounted to the suspicious behaviour that we were constantly being asked to look out for. We were told that anyone pointing cameras at government buildings met their definition. Then the advice went from covering every tourist in the country to being a tad over-specific:
Be on the look out for men in trucks. Especially if the trucks have writing on the sides with radioactive or explosive warning signs. Be especially cautious if you see these men unloading barrels from these trucks. Ring us immediately if you see anything like that. Or anyone pointing anything at aeroplanes.
That was a year or so ago so it is possible that Team America have fine tuned their terrorist spotting criteria. Then again maybe it's a good thing for the accused Brits that "any extradition application would only be made after the completion of UK legal proceedings and possible sentences".
Thanks to Eve.