Heathfield man charged with terrorism offences

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A man has been charged on suspicion of offences relating to the possession of explosive material, documents containing information likely to be of use in terrorism, and of cannabis production, police have said.

Benjamin Harris, 29, a carpenter, of Highcroft Crescent, Heathfield, is due to appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on October 29, police said.

Sussex Police said officers executed a search warrant at Harris’s address on March 13 last year.

Police said they seized a quantity of black powders, pyrotechnic fuses, chemicals to make improvised fireworks as well as a small number of IEDs, commercial fireworks and a USB stick containing electronic manuals, text books, academic and other documents relating to explosives. They also seized a small quantity of cannabis plants in various stages of production, police said.

Harris was arrested at the address and released on police bail after being interviewed.

Police said he has now been charged on suspicion of six offences, on the authority of the Attorney General and the CPS.

These include being charged on suspicion of possession of low explosive black powder, possession of oxidising agents, making low explosive black powder, all contrary to the Explosive Substances Act. Police said he has also been charged on suspicion of collecting or making a record of information that was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism by possessing a USB drive containing electronic copies of ten documents on the production of explosives, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000. He was charged on suspicion of contravening the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in relation to the storage of explosive material. He was also charged on suspicion of production of cannabis, contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, police said.

A police spokesman said: “This is not part of any wider investigation and there is no threat to the local community.”