31 January, 2007

Arrests in Birmingham Islamic terrorist inquiry.

The BBC reports that, after a six month operation involving MI5, police have raided a series of homes, a general store and a bookshop in Birmingham. As a result of the raids, eight men have been arrested and charged under the the Terrorism Act, 2000 in connection with a plot to kidnap a Muslim British soldier.

Already the local Muslim community has gone into denial.
Saqib Hussain, of Sparkhill, told BBC News he had visited the raided book shop many times and "had never seen any suspicions of terrorist activity".

Mohamed Barber told BBC News his cousin was one of the men arrested in Alum Rock.

"We can vouch for him he is innocent. He doesn't even have time to go to Friday prayers - that's how busy he is," he added.

Abdul Ghaffoor, a regular shopper at the general store, said he had never heard politics being discussed in the shop.
I get the point. If you hear no evil and see no evil, then no evil is being done.

Meanwhile, the Home Office is saying nothing much (Reuters) and the West Midlands Police is coming out with the usual flannel about not tolerating hate crimes and is appointing officers to look after the arrested men's families.

The Times also has a report and the Guardian lists recent terrorist-linked arrests.

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