Three Brit born Muslim Asians arrested over Internet threats to kill BrownAugust 23rd, 2008 - 2:05 pm ICT by ANI
London, Aug 23 (ANI): Three suspected terrorists have been arrested over Internet threats to kill British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Two men were arrested at Manchester Airport last week as they prepared to leave the country and a third, was detained in Accrington, Lancashire where he worked as a security guard.
The men arrested were all British-born Muslims of Asian origin from Blackburn, Lancashire, and were aged 21, 22 and 23.
Counter-terrorism sources said the arrests related to a statement which appeared on an Arabic language website called al-ekhlaas.net, which often carries messages from senior members of al-Qaeda.
The message, written in English, appeared only briefly on January 24, and claimed to be from Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila, the leader of al-Qaeda in Britain.
In it, he demanded the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and the release of prisoners from Belmarsh high security jail in south east London including the radical clerics Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada.
Qatada was later released after an Appeal Court ruling and put under house arrest.
It is understood the men had been under surveillance by police and two were arrested as they prepared to leave the country for Finland, The Telegraph reported.
Armed officers later converged on two houses in Blackburn, one of them in Whalley Range, the other just over a mile away in Audley.
Teams of forensics officers have since been carrying out searches of both properties and warrants have been granted to hold the men until next week.
Lancashire Constabulary and Greater Manchester Counter Terrorism Unit carried out the arrests as part of a joint operation.
It is thought the men were planning to attend a conference in Finland and counter-terrorism police are now in the country investigating. (ANI)
Tags: abu hamza al masri, abu qatada, al ekhlaas, blackburn lancashire, british prime minister gordon brown, conference in finland, counter terrorism unit, lancashire constabulary, prime minister gordon brown, south east london