Friday, September 17, 2010

Pope visit: Five men held over papal terror alert

Police outriders escorting the Pope mobileFive men have been arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a potential threat to Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

The arrests were made at 0545 BST in London after counter-terrorism officers received intelligence of a potential threat.

The five men, all street cleaners in Westminster, were taken to a central London police station. Officers are searching a number of premises. None of the men are British.The men all worked for Veolia Environment Services, a major contract cleaning company that does work for Westminster Council.Armed officers arrested the men at the company's Chiltern Street depot, Paddington, as they were preparing to go on shift.

In a statement from Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police said that the five men had been arrested in a Terrorism Act 2000 operation, launched by officers from the force's Counter-Terrorism Command. The five were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. They are 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50 years old. Residential premises in north and east London are also being searched. Officers have not found any hazardous items.

It is not clear whether the investigations relate to a plot against the Pope himself, an element of the visit or events or other matters that may be connected to the visit. Most of the men are understood to be Algerian.

In the statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Today's arrests were made after police received information following initial inquiries by detectives. A decision was made to arrest the five men.

"Following today's arrests policing arrangements for the papal visit were reviewed and we are satisfied our current policing plan remains appropriate. The itinerary has not changed. There is no change to the UK threat level." ...

via BBC News - Pope visit: Five men held over papal terror alert.

Algerian street cleaner terror plot ploy innit.

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