'Osama link to Easter bomb plot in UK'
Osama bin Laden was directly linked to a suspected terror cell in Manchester that plotted 'Easter shopping' bombings at several places in the UK city, files seized from the slain al Qaeda chief's Abbottabad compound have disclosed.world Updated: May 21, 2011 20:20 IST
Osama bin Laden was directly linked to a suspected terror cell in Manchester that plotted 'Easter shopping' bombings at several places in the UK city, files seized from the slain al Qaeda chief's Abbottabad compound have disclosed.
The alleged members of the terror cell, plotting to blow up landmarks in the city during the Easter holiday, were arrested in 2009, but British authorities forced to set the suspects free as they were unable to press charges because of a lack of evidence.
The information about the so-called 'Easter shopping' bomb plot contained in computer files seized by the US special forces and is some of the first top-secret intelligence to have been passed back from the bin Laden operation, The Daily Telegraph reported citing government sources.
US intelligence agency CIA has passed inputs to its UK counterpart MI5, linking bin Laden directly to the bomb plot.
An attempt to deport the alleged ringleader of the plot failed on human rights grounds after the suspect claimed he would be tortured if he was returned to Pakistan. Most of the alleged cell members have now left Britain, the report said.
The disclosure of the links to bin Laden is likely to lead to renewed concern over the British operation to apprehend the men, and the evidence which can be used in terrorist prosecutions in this country.
The new evidence is understood to have been discussed by the prime minister's national security team and is hoped that discussions between Prime Minister David Cameron and Barack Obama during the US President's visit next week will lead to more intelligence being shared between the two countries, it added.
First Published: May 21, 2011 19:51 IST