LONDON: A 36-year-old Indian-origin woman banker, arrested by Scotland Yard as part of an ongoing anti- terrorism operation here, has been charged with attempted murder.
She is due to appear before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court later today.
“Kuntal Patel has been charged with attempted murder following an investigation by the Counter Terrorism Command.
She is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday,” the Metropolitan Police said.
“We are not able to discuss further at this stage.
Inquiries are ongoing as part of an intelligence-led pre-planned operation,” it added.
Patel, who works at Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf, is the daughter of magistrate Meena Patel, who sits on the bench at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London.
Her home in Stratford, which she shares with her mother and sister Poonam, had been at the centre of a major search operation for days.
Ron Manley, a local councilor who has known the Patels for more than 20 years, described them as an “upstanding family”.
“Meena is a magistrate and used to work for a local authority, Kuntal works in the City and her younger daughter Poonam is a pharmacist. They are a Hindu family and I’ve known the two girls since they were at primary school. They have always been very polite, very nice girls,” he told ‘The Daily Telegraph’.
The son of Foreign Office diplomat Nicholas Sutcliffe, James, was also arrested as part of the operation earlier but has been released without charge triggering claims that counter-terror officials may have raided the wrong house.
Reports said there were apparent Internet links between Patel and the raided house next to the diplomat’s home.
Police said the searches were carried out as a precautionary measure and they have not found anything yet to suggest the public was at risk.–PTI