UK charges 2nd man with taking hostages in Syria

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 22:15 hrs

British police said Thursday a second man has been charged with kidnapping two Western journalists in Syria.

Jubayer Chowdhury, 24, was arrested by counterterrorism officers at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday after arriving on a flight from Bahrain. Scotland Yard said he has been charged in connection with their investigation into alleged terrorist activity in Syria.

Chowdhury is the second person charged in relation to the abduction of two photographers, Briton John Cantlie and his Dutch colleague Jeroen Oerlemans, between July 17 and July 26 in Syria. Shajul Islam, a 26-year-old trainee doctor, has also been charged over the abduction.

Oerlemans was shot twice during a failed attempt to escape from his captors. Cantlie, who had worked for the Sunday Times newspaper, has said that none of his captors were Syrians and that several spoke with British accents.

The kidnapping raised concerns that British Muslims might be slipping into Syria to join extremists. The photographers said after their week-long ordeal that some of their captors spoke with British accents.

Police say Chowdhury will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

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