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Security leak by senior Scotland Yard commander prompts arrests

shravan

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Security leak by senior Scotland Yard commander Bob Quick prompts arrests in suspected al-Qaida plot | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Counter-terrorist police arrested 10 young men across the north-west tonight in an operation hastily brought forward following an embarrassing security leak by a senior Scotland Yard commander.

The men, detained at John Moores University in Liverpool, an internet cafe and a house in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, as well as at addresses in Lancashire, are suspected of involvement in an al-Qaida plot aimed at attacking the UK.

At least one is believed to be a student, the others were born in Pakistan.

The arrests were triggered after Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, head of Scotland Yard's specialist operations wing, was photographed this morning clutching sensitive documents as he arrived in Downing Street. Clearly visible on top of a large bundle of papers under his arm was a white document marked "secret" that carried an outline for briefing on a current counter-terrorism operation. He was on his way to attend a cabinet security committee.

Realising the existence of the *photos of the *document – which included the names of several senior officers, sensitive locations and details about the nature of the overseas threat – a "D notice" was imposed by the government to restrict the media from revealing the contents of the picture.

Quick had been due to meet Gordon Brown and the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, to discuss police reform. He was also addressing the meeting in his role as lead for counter-terrorism and for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Tonight Quick apologised to the Metropolitan commissioner Sir Paul *Stephenson. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Assistant Commissioner Quick accepts he made a mistake on leaving a sensitive document on open view and deeply regrets it. He has apologised to the commissioner and colleagues."

The arrests were led by Greater Manchester police, the force which coordinates anti-terrorist operations in the region. "Ten men have been arrested as part of a counter-terrorism operation across the north-west of England," a statement from the force said. "Officers from the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit, supported by Merseyside police, Greater Manchester police and Lancashire constabulary, carried out a series of raids."

According to initial accounts a taser stun gun was used by armed police to subdue some of the suspects who were arrested at John Moores University. Ruth Jones, a third-year student at the university, told the Guardian that she was preparing to leave for the day when an announcement was made over the tannoy system warning students to stay away from the windows.

"I went upstairs at that point to find a friend and looked out the window to see police with guns standing over two young guys, who looked like they were in their twenties," she said.

A duty manager working near the campus told BBC radio that police had dealt with the situation "very calmly". He said that he saw the "evacuation of the suspects, and then police dispersed the small crowd that had gathered".

Two students were in the university library when the arrests took place and said a "distressed voice" came over the tannoy asking others to stay away from the windows for their own safety.

One, named as Craig, told the BBC: "There was shouting by the police telling them [the suspects] to get on the floor. Everybody was panicking."

Another witness, Nicholas Higgins, told Sky News that security officers had told students to stay away from windows because of fears that there might be a bomb. "I saw the lads [being arrested] lying on the floor," he said. "They were surrounded by police. The police had guns with them."

The arrests were due to happen in *several days' time, but because of the leak were carried out in daylight, in direct *contravention of the usual practice of arresting people while they sleep.

Two of those arrested are believed to be British citizens, another two are naturalised but born in Pakistan.

Britain's threat level today remained unchanged at severe general, meaning that officials believed that there was a high risk of attack.
 

muse

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At least one is believed to be a student, the others were born in Pakistan.
Lo ji, Kar lo gal. Pakistan aur Islam ka naam Raushan kar rahae hain-- But of course I am a bad guy for pointing out the obvious:cheers:
 

DarkStar

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Like so many arrests, the reporting is very prominent. But when these people are let off without charge, it hardly gets a mention in the same newspapers.
 

RescueRanger

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This is pathetic and then they laugh at Pakistani police. I am very shocked at reading the number of sites raided, a very complex operation. Also information is coming in that the majority are "Pakistani" and 1 is British(afghan).

This is such a terrible development. I swear because of these people our religion and our beloved nation has become a joke in the international community. They are a blemish on our identity and need to be removed.

I am just glad they were intercepted before they could cause loss of life and property all in the name of "Islam", this is NOT Islam. I am sick and tired of these idiots labelling themselves fighters for "Islam"... Loosers.

Disgusting.
 

DarkStar

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A friend of mine, who was a civil engineering student in London, was arrested from the library in his london university. This was about a couple of years after 9/11.

He had a long flowing beard, and had been noticed taking photographs around london. This was for one of his civil engineering projects.

To cut a long story short, the anti terrorist squad jumped him, he was pushed to the floor, arrested, and kept in solitary confinement for 3.5 months, without being charged with a crime. He was subjected to sleep and food deprivation, and constantly 'interviewed'.

At first, the police would not even inform the relatives or their lawyer, where he was held. One of his relative's is a councillor in Slough (near west London), so he finally found the wherabouts of his nephew by using his 'official' connections.

He was suddenly released after 3.5 months, a week before his final exams. I saw him a couple of days after his release, and commented on his appearance. He looked sh**. That's when he told me about his ordeal.

Needless to say, he didn't do too well in his exams, but still passed.

There are countless other such stories, especially in Europe, where illegal economic migrants are rounded up and accused of belonging to terrorist organisations.

Another acquaintance in Belgium, was also held in custody for 1.5 years. He used to walk around in a shalwar kameez too, and attracted a lot of attention. Funny thign is, he is a supporter of TaliburRahman Shah of Rawalpindi, a firebrand Maulvi who constantly critises militant organisations as being deviant. He was also rel;eased without charge.

Just returned from Pakistan last week, I heard.

In total, I personally know 3 people who have been wrongfully imprisoned and then let off, and these are people I can personally vouch for.

This is why I take any such news of terrorists arrested with a pinch of salt.
 

RescueRanger

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Accha,

Just to add... On BBC World and they are saying the 4 men arrested in a part of Manchester, England were thought to (attend a local mosque). Great, so now going to a local mosque is part of a benchmark for terrorist profiling?... No wonder my cousins in the UK are soo paranoid.

I aggree with what you have said DS, whilst i hate such people i cannot deny the fact that at this moment and time, only individuals have been detained and not formally charged. I belive the government in the UK has 40 Days to gather evidence, so that is 40 days in which we will not know if these people are indeed terrorists or not.

BBC is claiming that the raids have been quote "bungled" BBC - Homepage, now If they are terrorists then good on the police and intelligence services. However if they are indeed innocent, then the damage to the communtiy has already been done...

And i doubt the broadsheets will issue a clarification let alone the more hyped up tabloids. Honestly, sometimes i feel we have done this to our selves.
 

muse

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Like so many arrests, the reporting is very prominent. But when these people are let off without charge, it hardly gets a mention in the same newspapers
.

tsk, tsk, tsk - the whole world is against Pakistanis - the whole world is scared of Pakistanis which is of course a great achievement.

Lost in all this self pitying is any serious question as to why is it that whenever such arrests are made, Pakistan and Pakistanis figure into it? Are the Police in the UK rabid? Are they congenitally anti-pakistan?

Police in the West are seemingly hper sensitive to any possibility that islamist terrorists are tagetting institutions and personalities there -- don't you wish police in Pakistan could similarly pre-empt or is it more important to have dead bodies in bits and pieces so we can blame the ineficiency of the police service and intl agencies?

Why does it seem that Pakistan and Pakistanmis figure in such arrests? because of their pro-western orientation?

I don't know why it does not occur to otherwise reasonable people to examine the kinds of ideas Pakistanis are being animated by - but to each their own, I suppose.
 

Awesome

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tsk, tsk, tsk - the whole world is against Pakistanis - the whole world is scared of Pakistanis which is of course a great achievement.

Lost in all this self pitying is any serious question as to why is it that whenever such arrests are made, Pakistan and Pakistanis figure into it? Are the Police in the UK rabid? Are they congenitally anti-pakistan?

Police in the West are seemingly hper sensitive to any possibility that islamist terrorists are tagetting institutions and personalities there -- don't you wish police in Pakistan could similarly pre-empt or is it more important to have dead bodies in bits and pieces so we can blame the ineficiency of the police service and intl agencies?

Why does it seem that Pakistan and Pakistanmis figure in such arrests? because of their pro-western orientation?

I don't know why it does not occur to otherwise reasonable people to examine the kinds of ideas Pakistanis are being animated by - but to each their own, I suppose.
There have been a lot more cases of false arrests of Pakistanis than the other way round. You have to count for some degree of Islamophobia.

However in this particular case, apparently the PM was involved in the investigations process, so who knows what the story is. We should reserve comment till charges are actually made.

I'm not so riddled with inferiority complex that I'd be fretting over the blemishes on my country's good name. What has happened has happened, whether it happens in Lahore or UK, its the same terror. And Pakistanis don't support that terror, 30th March, is a testament to that...
 

muse

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Islamophobia??

I don't know what to say - are you serious, Islamophobia? just happened to pick these innocent Pakistanis, because of Islamophobia?

Alright whatever floats your boat.

Still an unwillingness to ask why it is that pakistan and pakistanis seem to figure in such arrests . Oh Islamophobia, sorry had forgotten that - but you know Saudi and Iranian and Uzbek and Turk and so much of the world is Muslim, why is that pakistan and pakistanis seem to be so disproportionately represented in such arrests?
 

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