Six men were arrested Tuesday in an anti-terrorist operation in northeast England, police said.
Among the properties raided this morning was a shop leased for the past four months by an "Arab" man, police sources told the British media.
It is understood the arrests are not directly linked to the September 11 atrocities or the recent arrests in Leicester, central England, according to the reports. The police sources said the arrests were "the result of ongoing inquiries into international terrorism" but had not been made at the request of the American federal bureau of investigation (FBI).
The arrested men, aged between 29 and 46, were held after raids by more than 150 police officers from the Durham and Cleveland police forces, some of them armed. A Durham police spokesman said the raids were conducted after officers had worked with anti-terrorism officers from new Scotland Yard gathering information.
The six suspects are being held at undisclosed police stations in the two regions following the raids as part of an operation codenamed "Ice Bolt.” The identities of those arrested have not been released.
Meanwhile, British home secretary David Blunkett said that terrorism would have no hiding place in Britain. Speaking to reporters, he was quoted as saying that putting in place the mechanisms to find suspect terrorists was "taking time", but it was working.
"We cannot be complacent even though we have had great success against al Qaeda and the Taliban. It is self-evident that we must all be vigilant,” Blunkett added. (albawaba.com)