BBC : Terror raid men 'fit stereotype'

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Terror raid men 'fit stereotype'

May 6, 2009

The lawyer for three men arrested in anti-terror raids said they were targeted as they fit the "terrorist" stereotype.

Solicitor Amjad Malik told BBC's Asian Network that the men felt discriminated against because they are Muslims and he says they are innocent.

He said: "Anybody who has a beard and goes to prayer cannot be considered a threat to national security."

The men held in Liverpool, Manchester and Clitheroe were not charged.

Of the 12 men arrested in the raids, 11 were Pakistani nationals, with 10 holding student visas. One was from Great Britain.

Deportation orders

Mr Malik, who was asked by Pakistan High Commission to represent the students, believes the government has been too quick to ask for their deportation.

He said he will help with the appeal against their deportation orders before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

He said: "The secretary of state has a huge responsibility to protect the public but will have to create a balance between the interest of individuals as well as the state."

Faced criticism

He said because no charges had been brought against the men they should be allowed to continue their studies.

Police faced criticism after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to justify bringing any charges against the men.

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC will look at the case as part of his ongoing role as independent reviewer of terrorism laws.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Peter Fahy, defended the arrests, saying he was not "embarrassed".

Telegraph : Manchester 'bomb plot' accused appeal against deportation

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Manchester 'bomb plot' accused appeal against deportation

All ten of the Pakistani men released following an alleged Easter bombing plot to blow up shopping centers in Manchester have appealed against being deported.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent | May 6, 2009

The men, most of whom arrived on student visas, have lodged cases with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) arguing that they could be tortured if they were returned to Pakistan.

All the detainees, who can apply for bail, have requested anonymity which means the Daily Telegraph is now banned from using their names.

Their fight is likely to take several years and cost the tax payer millions of pounds as they take it through the SIAC system and then appeal to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights.

It is understood the UK Borders Agency applied to have them deported on the grounds of national security and visa irregularities – several of the men were working as security guards although they had arrived on student visas.

SIAC is allowed to consider intelligence information that could not be put before the courts with a special advocate representing the detainees in closed hearings.

The security services insist they have intelligence, understood to be based on phone taps and intercepted emails, that would not be admissible in a normal court and that their investigation is continuing.

Police were hoping to find further information from the men's computers and searches of their homes that would narrow down the targets and their method of attack.

One man, who is a British citizen, was released without charge while the remaining ten, none of whom have been charged, are held in immigration custody.