London A British court Wednesday extended the time nine suspects in the alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound flights can be held without being charged, officials said. Scotland Yard said two others were freed.
Authorities said eight suspects who have not been charged could be kept in custody until Aug. 30, giving police more time to quiz them about the plot they have said involved liquid-based explosives, while the ninth suspect had his detention extended until today.
The 11 were among about two dozen people arrested Aug. 10 in police raids in London, Birmingham and High Wycombe, about 30 miles northwest of the capital. The others arrested have either been charged or released.
Wednesday's court action represented the first time that police have used new anti-terrorism laws to hold suspects for more than 14 days without charge, Britain's Home Office said. The law lets officers make applications to hold terrorism suspects for a maximum of 28 days before filing charges.
One of the people released Wednesday without being charged was Tayib Rauf, according to an official with Britain's anti-terrorist unit, who spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the media. Britain's Press Assn. and a friend, Mohammed Nazam, also confirmed his release.
Tayib's brother, Rashid Rauf, is being held near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, over his alleged key role in the plot.
Pakistani officials have linked people arrested there over the alleged conspiracy to al-Qaida.
The second person released had initially been scheduled to have his detention hearing held early today. His identity was not disclosed.