A 17-year-old bomb plot suspect appeared in court for the first time today.

The teenager, a British Muslim from Sussex, was remanded in custody until April 14 following a 30-minute hearing at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in central London.

The youngster, wearing a black sweater, black jogging pants and black slippers, and with a short beard, sat next to his uncle and mother in front of the dock.

District Judge Timothy Workman told him that because of his age the magistrates' court was sitting as a youth court.

The teenager was charged under Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

He confirmed his name and date of birth when they were put to him by the court clerk.

The clerk then put the charge to him that "between October 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, you unlawfully and maliciously conspired with others to cause, by an explosive substance, an explosion of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property".

Asked whether he understood the charge, he replied: "Yes."

The teenager was arrested last Tuesday and was charged yesterday.

He was held in a police operation which saw 700 police officers raid 24 properties in London and the south-east and make a series of arrests.