Four Arrests Made: Islamic State-Supporting Cell Uncovered Near London

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Four men have been charged with supporting and aiding recruitment for the Islamic State (IS) terror group at a series of meetings near London, just weeks after a female IS supporting cell was exposed in the city.

London’s Metropolitan Police force revealed in a statement that the men were arrested last week in the town of Luton, just west of London. They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London tomorrow.

Mohammed Istiak Alamgir, 36, Ziaur Rahman, 38, Yousaf Bashir, 35 and Rajib Khan, 37, were arrested on 2 December. Seven properties and a number of vehicles in Luton were also searched.

All four men have now been charged with offences under the Terrorism Act and their crimes are alleged to have take place between June and July this year.

Mohammed Istiak Alamgir allegedly “arranged, managed or assisted in arranging or managing a meeting, which he knew was to support a proscribed organisation, namely Islamic State, or to further its activities” on four separate occasions.

Ziaur Rahman is charged with committing the same crime on one occasion and Yousaf Bashir has been charged with addressing such a meeting. Rajib Khan has been charge with arranging and addressing meetings on one occasion.

Police said the arrests and searches were part of an ongoing investigation of individuals in the Luton area and were not connected to the recent Islamic State attacks in Paris.

All of the men are from Luton town, which has a Muslim population of 50,000 (24.6 per cent) and an Asian population of 61,000 (30 per cent).

The Bedfordshire town has a long history of fostering Islamic extremism and even terrorism. The 7/7 London bombers had links to the town, the Stockholm bomber was from Luton, and banned hate preachers such as Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri Mohammed once regularly spoke at the mosque on Leagrave Road.