Manchester Evening News : Plea for calm after raids

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Plea for calm after raids

Yakub Qureshi | April 9, 2009

GREATER Manchester's top terror cop has called for calm following raids throughout the region.

Det Chief Supt Tony Porter, the most senior anti-terrorism officer in the north west, said officers would be working to reassure residents in the areas hit last night.

"This action is part of a continuing investigation and we have acted on intelligence received," he said.

"We understand that this kind of police activity can cause concern to people living in nearby communities, and we have ensured they will be able to discuss issues or concerns linked to today's operation with local officers who are providing a high-profile presence.

"We are also distributing letters around the areas concerned and will be meeting with community groups to address any concerns they may have."


The latest spate of terror arrests will come as little surprise to those who follow security developments. Although no such large-scale raids have been carried out in recent months, the Home Office has classed the terrorism threat level as "severe", meaning that a terrorist attack is "highly likely".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith congratulated Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire police forces.

"They are to be commended for the professional manner in which they conducted this operation," she said.

"The decision to take such action was an operational matter for the police and the security service but the Prime Minister and I were kept fully appraised of developments.

"We face a severe terrorist threat in this country and we are all very well served by our police and security services, all of whom do an excellent job to keep us safe.

"While this investigation is ongoing it would, of course, be inappropriate to comment further."