THE TEENAGE son of a Muslim immigrant from India and the suspected leader of the Al Qaeda in Britain are among the 24 people arrested in connection with the foiled plot to blow up US-bound planes from the UK.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, 17-year-old Abdul Patel, the youngest among the suspects held last Thursday, is the son of a Muslim immigrant from India. Patel was one of the 19 suspects who were named and whose assets were frozen by the Bank of England.
Also, Scotland Yard believes that one of those arrested is the Al Qaeda's leader in the UK. The Sunday Times said he could not be named for legal reasons.
Home Office officials agree that one of the arrested men is suspected of not only masterminding the foiled plot but also of involvement in other planned atrocities over the past few years. They believe he was instrumental in sending the ringleader of at least one previous British terror plot for training at a camp in Pakistan last year.
Counter-terrorist officials at MI5 described him as the senior figure in a British terror network involving Kashmiri, north African and Iraqi cells. In all, British police believe they have arrested "the ringleaders, the technical experts and the foot soldiers" behind the plot. Eliza Manningham, MI5's director-general believes the investigation into the suspected Al Qaeda leader in Britain and his UK associates was the security service's single-most important line of inquiry.
The man is suspected of being behind two "pipelines" which saw potential terrorist recruits being sent for training at camps in Pakistan and to join the "holy war" in Iraq.