updated 10/27/2006 4:31:04 PM ET 2006-10-27T20:31:04

A British judge granted bail Friday to two of the people accused in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound jetliners with liquid explosives and he urged lawyers to avoid any delays in starting a trial that is already more than a year away.

Nabeel Hussain, 22, and a 17-year-old male were granted bail by Judge David Calvert-Smith after a hearing at London's Central Criminal Court. But the judge denied bail to 24-year-old Cossor Ali, the only woman charged so far in connection with the alleged plot.

Hussain is one of 11 people charged with conspiracy to murder and preparing acts of terrorism. The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is underage, was charged with possessing material that could be used to prepare a terrorist act. Court restrictions prevent reporting of their bail conditions.

Police arrested 25 people in raids across Britain on Aug. 9-10 and charged 17 of them, after uncovering a suspected plot to assemble and detonate improvised explosives on board as many as 10 U.S.-bound planes.

Security crackdown after arrests
A drastic crackdown on security following the arrests snarled air traffic across the Atlantic and caused frustrating delays for thousands of passengers.

The alleged plot was described by investigators as having the potential to be on a similar scale to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Hussein and the 17-year-old are the only two of the accused to be granted bail so far.

Along with Hussain, 10 men were charged Aug. 21 with conspiracy to murder and preparing acts of terrorism.

They are Umar Islam, 28; Waheed Zaman, 22; Ahmed Abdullah Ali, 25; Tanvir Hussain, 25; Arafat Khan, 25; Ibrahim Savant, 25; Assad Sarwar, 26; Adam Khatib, 19; Mohammed Gulzar, 25; and Mohammed Uddin, 35.

Two other men were charged with preparing terrorism: Usman Mohammed Saddique, 24, and Donald Stewart Whyte, 21, who is also charged with three firearms offenses.

Cossor Ali, who is married to defendant Ahmed Ali, appeared via video link at an earlier hearing to discuss possible trial dates. Ali is accused of failing to disclose information about a possible terrorist attack, as are Mehran Hussain and Umair Hussain.

Prosecuting attorney Colin Gibbs said Cossor Ali and the 17-year-old could come to trial in May, but that would be discussed at a further hearing on Dec. 8.

Prosecutors said the process of collecting evidence was likely to take longer than first expected.

‘We must get this trial on’
The trial is tentatively set to open early in 2008, but Gibbs acknowledged that the "size, scale and nature" of the case made some delays inevitable, and that date could be pushed back.

"We must get this trial on," Calvert-Smith said. "Large sections of the population would want to know if this was a storm in a teacup or a serious danger to hundreds of thousands of people."

Hugh Mullan, representing one of the men charged with conspiracy to murder, said little evidence had been received by defense lawyers. "Already things are slipping out of control," he said. The prosecution has been forced to push back dates agreed at a prior hearing for evidence to be passed to defense lawyers.

Gibbs said that more than 500 witness statements alone had been collected from surveillance operatives, while scientists detailed with analyzing materials seized or found near defendants' homes had yet to provide any firm time frame about when they would be finished.

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