Police seize 13 men in terror raids across UK

Posted in Terrorism | 04-Aug-04 | Author: Andrew Clennell| Source: The Independent

British police guard the U.S. embassy in London following this week's upgraded terror alert.

Anti-terrorism police arrested 13 men suspected of planning terror acts in raids across England yesterday. The men, in their 20s and 30s, were arrested in north-west London, Hertfordshire, Luton, Bedfordshire, and Blackburn, Lancashire.

Scotland Yard said the arrests formed part of "inquiries by security services into alleged international terrorism" and that they were part of a "pre-planned, intelligence-led operation". It is understood the intelligence came from MI5.

The timing of the raids was brought forward in the wake of the publicity over the perceived threat to US financial institutions, although the arrests were not connected with that threat.

The men were arrested "on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism" under the Terrorism Act 2000 and were being questioned at London police stations. Scotland Yard said "a number of search warrants" had been executed, but "no hazardous substances had been found". Fewer than one-in-five of the 562 arrested under the Act since 11 September 2001 have been charged.