S. Africa court postpones UK terror blackmail case

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

A South African court postponed Monday the terror case of a 64-year-old businessman accused of threatening Britain with a biological agent, media reported.

Brian Patrick Roach faces charges of threatening to engage in terrorism activity and money laundering after he allegedly tried to blackmail the British government to stop a biological attack, the Sapa news agency said.

He will appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing.

Police said Saturday he had repeatedly demanded four million dollars (three million euros), in letters and emails, in exchange for not deploying a biological agent within the borders of Britain.

"This biological agent, if deployed, would have caused the destruction of property and resulted in major economic loss," a police statement said.

Investigators could not release details on the biological agent involved but the statement said police considered it a "very serious threat."

Police said Roach had made a similar threat against the United States.

His arrest followed a six-month investigation by South African and British police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Roach was arrested on Saturday near the small resort town of Hartbeespoort in South Africa's North West province.

© 2011 AFP

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