10 held for plotting terror attacks in London
10 Suspects have been held in London for plotting a follow-up terror strike to the July 7 attacks.Updated: Oct 09, 2005 08:44 IST
Ten men being held by British anti-terror police on Sunday were plotting a follow-up terror strikes to the July 7 attacks in London, newspapers reported on Sunday.
The men were nabbed in dawn raids at three addresses across England on Saturday but police said they were not linked to the deadly July 7 blasts, not the failed July 21 repeat, on the British capital's transport network.
The Sunday Times said they were thought to be planning multiple car bombings against targets across the country, using conventional explosives packed into cars and driven into crowded city centres.
The newspaper also said they were linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the frontman in Iraq of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network.
The News of the World said they posed an imminent threat and were plotting another strike on London.
"There is intelligence to suggest that they were planning some sort of attack in the UK," a senior counter-terrorism source told The Sunday Times.
"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."
A British official told the newspaper the men might have links to Zarqawi, who is accused by Britain and the US of organising deadly suicide bombings and the beheading of foreign hostages in Iraq.
The newspaper quoted the official as saying: "They may have been preparing to help jihadists go to Iraq."
A senior security source told the News of the World: "The threat was imminent and we had to take action quickly.
"The group had come up on our radar after we became suspicious of behaviour and movements and they were put under surveillance.
"We suspect they were planning another terror strike on London and we felt these men posed a danger to the lives of people living in the capital.
"These arrests have serious worldwide implications. We're working in a time where terrorism is now a global problem."
Police arrested the suspects in dawn raids, said the city's Metropolitan Police, which takes the lead on anti-terrorist matters.
The operation is linked to an ongoing investigation into international terrorist activities in Britain, the spokesman said.
Three men were arrested in Croydon, a suburb south of London, while seven were arrested in central English cities: four in Wolverhampton and three in Derby.
The arrests were made under the section of the Terrorism Act 2000 relating to suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
"There are ongoing searches at all three addresses and it is likely that these will continue for some time," the spokesman said.
First Published: Oct 09, 2005 08:44 IST