Liverpool Echo : Liverpool flat at centre of Al-Qaeda bomb factory hunt

Friday, April 10, 2009

Liverpool flat at centre of Al-Qaeda bomb factory hunt

by Ben Rossington, Liverpool Echo | April 10, 2009

A CRUMBLING city flat was today at the centre of a search for a suspected Al-Qaeda bomb factory.

Officers were yesterday seen moving boxes and bags out of the block in Highgate Street, Edge Hill.

When anti-terror police raided the property late on Wednesday afternoon, following the arrest of a student at John Moores University, residents were evacuated from the road and made to wait behind a cordon.

A cordon remained around the block of flats today.

No-one was inside when it was stormed by police.

Officers made arrests at other properties in Earle Road, also Edge Hill, and Cedar Grove, Toxteth, as well as outside the JMU library.

The five men picked up during Operation Pathway were today still in police custody. It is believed they have been split up and taken to police stations in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, joining seven other men arrested in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Police revealed 11 of the 12 men are Pakistani nationals in Britain on student visas. The last is a British man. They are aged from their late teens to early 40s.

Speculation was mounting today over a possible plot to blow up Easter shoppers, although Whitehall security sources told the ECHO Liverpool was not a likely target.

The men were reportedly watched by undercover officers as they took pictures and filmed themselves at high-profile shopping and leisure locations in and around Manchester.

It is thought they were seen outside the Trafford Centre, Manchester’s Arndale Centre and a Manchester nightclub.