IBN : Top cop unwittingly gives away al-Qaeda details, quits

Friday, April 10, 2009

Top cop unwittingly gives away al-Qaeda details, quits

Sanjay Suri / CNN-IBN | April 10, 2009

London: An al-Qaeda plot on a 9/11 scale with England the target. And it cost the job of England's top counter-terrorism official. Bob Quick resigned after cameras at Downing Street caught him with a secret document listing al-Qaeda suspects to be arrested and that forced police to kick off Operation Pathway late on Wednesday night.

More than 100 policemen fanned out all across Northwest England. Four suspects were picked up in Liverpool, two in Manchester and two in Lancashire. In all, 12 were arrested - 10 of them Pakistanis and most of them students.

The suspects were linked to Rashid Rauf, an al-Qaeda operative implicated in the plot to bomb trans-Atlantic airliners last year.

Attacks may have also been planned on nightclubs in Manchester. The planning for the strike has seemingly been going on for nearly eight months.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed the arrests saying, "We have been investigating a major terrorist plot and we have got to act early. Our first concern is always the safety of the public. It is right that we took the urgent action. We expect this investigation to move forward."

The suspects are being held under the Terrorism Act, which allows detention for up to 28 days without being charged.