CPS defends decision not to charge Manchester bomb plotter

The Crown Prosecution Service has defended its decision not to charge Manchester bomb plotter Abid Naseer in the UK, claiming there was not enough evidence against him.

Naseer was this week found guilty of planning terror attacks in the US and the UK during a trial in America.

But a police crime commissioner in the UK said it was "deeply worrying" no further action was taken here and pledged to raise the matter with the Home Secretary.

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CPS criticised for failing to prosecute Naseer in UK

Abid Naseer was convicted of plotting attacks in Manchester, New York and Copenhagen.

Police chiefs have questioned why an Al-Qaida terrorist was not prosecuted in the UK after planning "another 9/11" on Britain's streets.

Pakistani-born Abid Naseer, 28, was convicted in a New York court of plotting attacks on both sides of the Atlantic, including one in Manchester.

But the Crown Prosecution Service have been criticised for not charging him when he was arrested in the UK in 2009.

Tony Lloyd, police and crime commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: "The reality is that, had the Americans not acted, a dangerous man who was intent on causing death and destruction here could potentially still be walking our streets.

"This is deeply worrying and I will be raising this issue with the Home Secretary because we need real assurances that whatever went wrong here is never repeated. The public will want to know why he wasn't brought to trial here."

The CPS say there was not enough evidence to prosecute Naseer in the UK.

CPS defends decision not to charge Manchester bomb plotter

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has defended its decision not to charge Abid Naseer, a Pakistani man who was convicted of terror offences in the United States yesterday.

A court sketch of Naseer during his trial. Credit: Reuters

Naseer, 28, was found guilty of plotting to bomb a shopping centre in Manchester and the subway in New York City.

He was arrested in Manchester in 2009, and though police submitted a file to the CPS, it was deemed that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

"The evidence in our possession in relation to Abid Naseer which would have been admissible in a criminal court was very limited," a spokeswoman said.

"Crucially, there was no evidence of training, research or the purchasing of explosives.

"We had no evidence of an agreement between Abid Naseer and others which would have supported a charge of conspiracy in this country."


Convicted terrorist planned attack on scale of 7/7

An Al Qaeda terrorist has been found guilty of plotting to bomb a Manchester shopping centre and the New York subway by a US jury.

Abid Naseer, 28, planned a car bomb attack on the Manchester's Arndale shopping centre on the Easter weekend in 2009.

Had his Manchester plot succeeded, police believe it would have been as big as the 7/7 attacks in London.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

Public urged to help fight radicalisation after conviction

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for the public's help in tackling radicalisation in the community following the conviction of Abid Naseer over a plot to carry out a terrorist attack on Manchester's Arndale Centre.

Manchester's Arndale Centre was targeted by the bomb plotters for an attack in Easter 2009. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

We need everyone in our communities - schools, teachers, local councillors, parents and friends - to help us identify those young people who are vulnerable and therefore susceptible to being radicalised.

If we can identify those at risk before their behaviour escalates into extremist views or a misguided desire to carry out an act of terrorism, then we can safeguard those individuals and try and steer them away from that lifestyle.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole

Detective Mole added there was no evidence to suggest locations in Manchester remain under threat of a terror attack.

Throughout his trial, a number of locations in Manchester were mentioned as potential targets for Naseer. I want to stress that these locations were part of a plot that is now six years old.

There is no current intelligence or evidence to suggest any of these locations are under threat or at risk of a terrorist attack.

I want shoppers and residents to be reassured by that and continue to use the shopping facilities in Manchester without fear or trepidation.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole

Abid Naseer found guilty of plotting Manchester bombing

Pakistani citizen Abid Naseer has been found guilty of leading al Qaeda plots to launch bomb attacks in the UK and US.

The 28-year-old was accused of planning a terror attack on Manchester's Arndale shopping centre in 2009, along with an attack in New York.

He was found guilty of all three charges he faced after being tried in front of a jury at Brooklyn's federal district courthouse.

Prosecutors claimed Abid Naseer was the leader of an al-Qaeda terror cell in the North West of England.

Naseer claimed he was an innocent and peace loving man who came to Britain for an education and a wife.

But the jury found him guilty of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation and conspiring to use a destructive device.

Prosecutors said Naseer's plot formed part of a three-pronged international attack, timed to coincide with strikes on the New York subway and a Danish newspaper.


MI5 agent wore heavy make up to testify in terror trial

A female MI5 agent wore heavy make up and appeared to change her accent to protect her identity as she gave evidence in the Abid Naseer terror trial.

Naseer is accused of plotting a "second 9/11" in Manchester, Copenhagen and New York.

ITV International Affairs Editor Rageh Omar reports from Brooklyn:

Naseer 'took dozens of photos of Manchester targets'

Alleged Manchester bomb plotter Abid Naseer took dozens of photographs around the city centre in preparation for a "second 9/11", a US court heard.

Prosecutors claim Naseer took two co-conspirators around some of the busiest locations including the Arndale Shopping Centre, St Ann's Square and the City's Cathedral.

ITV International Affairs Editor Rageh Omar reports from Brooklyn:

MI5 officer: 'Naseer's behaviour was not suspicious'

Naseer cross-examines the officer in court. Credit: Court artist/Jane Rosenberg

An MI5 officer giving evidence in the trial of alleged Manchester bomb plotter Abid Naseer today told a court he did not think his behaviour was suspicious.

'Officer 1661' said he followed Naseer and two other alleged co-conspirators around Liverpool in early 2009.

The court heard the trio visited locations such as a Tesco supermarket.

Naseer, who is representing himself, asked the officer if anything he witnessed caused him to be alarmed or suspicious, to which he replied "no".

Photographs of Naseer's 'co-conspirators' posing in front of locations around Manchester City Centre, such as the Arndale Shopping Centre, St Ann's Square and the City's Cathedral, were shown in court for the first time.

Prosecutors said while they may appear like harmless holiday snaps, they were actually part of a reconnaissance mission as they decided upon their intended target.

M15 officer gives evidence in disguise at Naseer trial

Officer 1661 gives evidence at Naseer's trial. Credit: Court artist/Jane Rosenberg

The first of five MI5 officers today began giving evidence at the trial of alleged Manchester bomb plotter Abid Naseer.

Officer '1661' wore a beard, glasses and a wig to protect his identity.

Speaking in a Northern accent, he told the court in Brooklyn how he trailed Naseer in Liverpool during late March and early April.

Prosecutors claim Naseer planned to blow up the Arndale Shopping Centre in a bid to carry out a "second 9/11".

He is also accused of planning terorr attacks in New York and Copenhagen but denies the charges against him.

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