Lancashire Telegraph : All 12 North West terror suspects released

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All 12 North West terror suspects released

April 22, 2009

ALL 12 suspects arrested in Clitheroe, Manchester and Liverpool over an alleged bomb plot have been released without charge, police have said.

Eleven of the men - all Pakistani nationals - face being deported after they were transferred into the custody of the UK Borders Agency.

Police swooped on a Clitheroe DIY store on April 8 and arrested two security guards.

They arrested another 10 men following raids in Manchester and Liverpool.

The men’s release without charge is a major embarrassment for the Government.

In the aftermath of the raids, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the authorities were investigating a “major terrorist plot”.

It is understood that the decision to arrest the suspects was taken by the police on public safety grounds amid fears that an attack could be imminent.

Reports today alleged “furious disagreements” between Scotland Yard, Greater Manchester Police and MI5 over the timing of the arrests.

Sources played down these reports, but it is clear that MI5 had been unable to build up a full intelligence picture of what was going on when police moved in.

At the time of the arrests Whitehall sources emphasised that they were keeping an “open mind” about what was involved.

It appeared that detectives were hoping that searches carried out following the raids would give them a clearer picture of what was going on.