Lancashire Telegraph : Terror arrests: Police swoop in Liverpool and Manchester

Friday, April 10, 2009

Terror arrests: Police swoop in Liverpool and Manchester

April 10, 2009

POLICE investigating an alleged al Qaida terror plot in the North West were today searching an additional address.

The additional address being searched by counter-terrorism officers is in Liverpool, close to where some of the suspects were arrested.

Eleven Pakistani nationals and one UK-born Briton are still being questioned at various locations in the UK in connection with the alleged plot.

The men, ten of whom hold student visas, can be detained for up to 28 days.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “Twelve suspects remain in custody in various locations across the country.

”A further address on Highgate Street, Liverpool, is also being searched, bringing the total number of addresses being searched to ten.”

Arrests were made on Wednesday at a cyber cafe and home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester and John Moores University, Liverpool.


Witnesses at the university said two Asian men in their mid to late 20s were held by armed police outside the main library on Maryland Street.

They described how the men were stopped as they walked past the main entrance and ordered to lie on the ground.

Terrified students were held inside the library for up to 30 minutes as the two men were searched by police before being taken away.

Two students who were in the university’s Aldham Robarts library when the arrests took place said a ‘distressed voice’ came over the Tannoy asking students to stay away from the windows for their own safety.

Craig Ahmed, 24, a business student from Maghull, Merseyside, said: “One of them was armed and was pointing his gun at two men who were ordered to lie face down on the ground.

“They looked like students; one was wearing tracksuit bottoms and a hooded top and the other had a Puffa-style jacket on.

“There was talk that they had a bomb and it spread like wildfire around the building.”


The cafe in the basement of a row of shops on a main road has a sign outside advertising itself as Cyber Net Cafe and computer repair shop.

Up to three men were taken from the cafe by police, according to locals.

Mesu Raza, who lives in a flat above the cafe, said: “They had handcuffs on, they were Asian men, and the police were armed.”

A woman living close to one of the Cheetham Hill addresses raided by police said three men were taken away.

The men had lived in the row of terraces for around a year and attended a mosque, she said.

She said: “They were just nice neighbours, not noisy.”