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2 men accused of plotting Islamic State-inspired attack against Jews in England

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LONDON (AP) — Two men accused of plotting to gun down Jews in an Islamic State-inspired attack in northwest England were held without bail Tuesday after appearing in a London court.

Walid Saadaoui, 36, and Amar Hussein, 50, were accused of planning to use automatic weapons to kill Jews, police and military personnel, prosecutors said in Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The duo face charges of preparing terrorist acts between Dec. 13 and last Thursday.

The charges come as incidents of antisemitism in the U.K. hit a record high last year — with a spike following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing military campaign in Gaza, according to Community Security Trust, an advocacy group for British Jews that works to eliminate antisemitism.

“This is one of a number of recent and ongoing cases that demonstrate why the Jewish community needs such extensive security measures,” said Amanda Bomsztyk, northern regional director of the trust.

A third man, Bilel Saadaoui, 35, was accused of making arrangements for the expected death of his brother, co-defendant Walid Saadaoui.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism.

Defense lawyer Angelo Saponiere said Bilel Saadaoui was a family man unaware of the alleged plot.

The three were arrested last week by Greater Manchester Police. They were held without bail and scheduled to appear May 24 for a hearing in the Central Criminal Court.

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