Monday, October 10, 2005

Scotland Yard Arrests 10 Suspected Islamist Terrorists

The British police agency has arrested ten Muslims who they suspected of planning carbomb attacks and recruiting jihadis for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of al Qaeda in Iraq. Statements from Scotland Yard imply that the men had been under surveillance for some time.

Three men were arrested in Croydon, south London, four in Wolverhampton and three in Derby, following what officials described as a significant and long-running investigation by Scotland Yard and MI5.

"There is intelligence to suggest they were planning some sort of attack in the UK," a senior counter-terrorism official said.

"Things have changed since July 7. There was no way with the intelligence we had that we could let these people carry on doing the sort of thing we think they were planning to do."
The security sources said it was too early to say what targets the suspects might have been planning to attack or when they planned to carry out such attacks.

Police said the operation and arrests were not directly connected to the investigation into the July 7 strikes in which 56 people were killed, including the four suicide bombers.

The plot is thought to have involved the use of conventional explosives, probably to be loaded into cars and driven into crowded city centres.

Officials said it was unclear whether any of the men had been planning suicide attacks. They emphasised that no explosives had been recovered in the searches, which continued in a number of locations yesterday.

Investigators are now examining possible links between the suspects and Zarqawi, the 37- year-old Jordanian radical who is accused by the US and Britain of organising a string of spectacular suicide bombings in Iraq. He is believed to have been personally involved in the beheading of Western hostages.