Liverpool Echo : Bomb factory search spreads to another flat in Liverpool

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bomb factory search spreads to another flat in Liverpool

Liverpool Echo | April 11, 2009

FORENSIC officers were searching a second flat in Liverpool city centre as the hunt for an Al Qaida bomb-making factory was stepped up.

Counter-terrorism police entered an additional address on Highgate Street, Edge Hill, near to where two suspects were arrested on Wednesday.

Yesterday a forensic team wheeled in heavy duty lighting equipment including rigs and generators as they scoured the premises for clues.

Officers were seen to bring out clear plastic bags which appeared to contain plastic containers and three black bags.

Police were stationed in two corridors in the flats and took residents’ names and dates of birth in their quest for information.

But at around 7 last night police vehicles began to leave the flats and the police tape was removed.

Indian national Anas Ansari, 25, who studies nautical science at Liverpool John Moores’ University, said: “I finished university and came home and police were checking our IDs and logging it down.

“We had to sign a log sheet along with the date and the time.”

Piles of rubbish and discarded household furniture yesterday lay in the grounds of the flats, many of which are boarded up with rusting steel sheets.

Betty Morgan, 75, who lives opposite the complex, said: “When the police came on Wednesday they cordoned the road off.

“We could not get out and everyone was told to shut their doors and windows.

“Some people couldn’t get into the road and St Mary’s church opened the doors to them. The police were in a student’s flat and I could see torches were being used.

“It did surprise me because I did not think that anything to do with terrorism was going on over there.

“They would never mix with the community and we would just see them in the morning coming home from their shopping run.

“Cars come in the night, but it’s only to drop them off from work because they work in restaurants.”

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, confirmed she saw police take away two containers from the flat.

One student resident said there were 12 separate four-bedroom flats and the landlord charged £460pcm.

Two houses were also cordoned off on Cedar Road, Toxteth, as police continued searches connected with the terror plot.

Panels have been broken on the front door of one of the houses and the bay window has also been smashed.

A Cedar Grove resident told the ECHO: “There were about 10 police men and four people came out who were of Asian origin.

“They were in handcuffs and were taken away in police vans. The police also closed the road off.

“The people who lived there would never mingle with the community and always stuck to their own. It’s frightening to think you may have terrorists living and plotting an attack on your street. It just shows you just don’t know who you are living by.”

Eleven Pakistani nationals and one UK-born Briton were being questioned in different parts of the country in connection with the alleged plot.

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 10.”

The 12 being questioned over alleged Al Qaida terror plot

THE 12 men who have been detained across the UK can be detained for up to 28 days.

A total of 10 of the men hold student visas.

Downing Street revealed yesterday that Prime Minister Gordon Brown had spoken with the President of Pakistan about the threat from terrorism.

The talks were held amid concern about the number of suspects who had come to the UK from Pakistan on student visas.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke by telephone from No 10 last night.”

But Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK said not enough was being done by the British authorities to carry out checks on foreign students.