Two men charged with plotting Christmas terror attack
Andy Star, 31, and Farhad Salah, 22, were arrested on December 19 in Yorkshire
Friends accused of plotting to set off a bomb in the UK, court heard today
Both men, of Iraqi origin, spoke only confirm their name, age and address
Star's lawyer Sajad Chaudhury said client will plead not guilty to terror charge
Star and Salah will appear together again at the Old Bailey on January 19
A chip shop owner terror suspect and his friend appeared in court today accused of planning to build a bomb for an alleged Christmas plot.
Andy Star, 31, and Farhad Salah, 22, were arrested on December 19 in a series of early morning raids in the Chesterfield and Sheffield areas of South Yorkshire.
Today both appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates Court via video link from Leeds Magistrates Court.
Both men, of Iraqi origin, spoke only confirm their name, age and address, and are both accused of a single terror count.
Prosecutor Thomas Halpin said: 'Both are jointly charged with a single offence of preparation to commit acts of terrorism.
He added: 'This is a case in which the Crown say both defendants were researching, developing and manufacturing chemicals to make explosive substances so they could be used in an IED with a view to committing acts in the UK.'
Andy Star, 31, and Farhad Salah (pictured in a court sketch), 22, were arrested on December 19 in a series of early morning raids in the Chesterfield and Sheffield areas of South Yorkshire
Andy Star, 31, (pictured) and Farhad Salah, 22, were arrested on December 19 and are accused of planning to set off a homemade bomb over Christmas
Star was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday at the flat above his Mermaid Fish Bar in Chesterfield (pictured ten days ago)
Star was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday at the flat above his Mermaid Fish Bar in Chesterfield.
The two men, both Kurdish Iraqis, were dressed in prison issue tracksuits.
The court heard that they are accused of possessing 'low explosive black powder'.
The pair were among four men arrested on December 19.
South Yorkshire Police said a 36-year-old man from Burngreave in Sheffield remains in custody, while a 41-year-old from Meersbrook in Sheffield was released on Saturday.
Star, who owns the Mermaid Fish and Chip Bar on Sheffield Road in Chesterfield, and bearded Salah, who lives in Brunswick Road, Sheffield, were remanded in custody by District Judge Tan Ikram ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on January 19.
Star's lawyer Sajad Chaudhury told the court: 'The offence is denied and at the first opportunity at the Crown Court he will indicate a not guilty plea.'
Star, 31, came to Britain as an asylum seeker ten years ago, passing his British citizenship just three months ago
An ex-girlfriend said recently that Star arrived in the UK from his homeland Iraqi Kurdistan, where he still has family, about ten years ago.
He was later granted indefinite leave to stay and passed his citizenship test three months ago.
The couple saw each other 'on and off' until about six months ago, Joanne Mallinson said.
She said: 'He was everyone's friend and was always willing to help people, he was very caring'.
Jordan Batteson, 25, who lives near the Mermaid Fish Bar, said: 'He was a really nice guy, really friendly. I used to go in there to get my chips.
He gave the staff copies of the Koran.'
A close friend of Star said: 'I can't believe it ... I don't know what happened, he was a nice guy ... I am sure he is innocent'.