More time to quiz terror suspects

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Anti-terror police have been given five more days to question four men suspected of plotting a potentially “significant” attack on the UK, Scotland Yard has said.

Magistrates have granted a custody extension until next Tuesday, October 14, for officers to have more time to quiz the four men, arrested under the Terrorism Act.

The men, aged 20 to 21, were arrested in raids on Tuesday on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

A number of addresses and vehicles have been searched by specialist officers in west and central London as part of the investigation. Those searches were expected to draw to a close overnight.

Among the alleged extremists being questioned is medical student Tarik Hassane, 21, who lives near Ladbroke Grove in west London, the Press Association understands.

At least one of the suspects is believed to have travelled to Syria and one line of inquiry is to establish any possible links with Islamic State (IS), the extremist group behind the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.

Counter-terror officers believe the raids were an “early disruption” of what could have turned into a “significant plot”.

In a conversation on social networking site, “Tarik Hassane from Ladbroke” claims to be studying medicine in Sudan after failing to meet the grades for an offer to study at King’s College London.

It is understood that Hassane’s mother is Moroccan and works in a school.

The front door of Hassane’s property showed signs of forced entry and has been boarded up.

One neighbour, who did not want to give her name for fear of reprisals, said she heard that “police took the floor up” in the property.

“He was a really nice guy who loved his football,” she said. “He used to be a bit of a Jack the lad but then he kept going to Morocco and around two years ago he started covering his tracksuit with a white dress and then the Jesus creepers came in and he grew a beard. He started behaving shy with people he knew all his life. Everybody noticed it.”

Under terrorism laws, police officers could hold the men for 48 hours before they had to apply to a magistrate to detain them for longer – and the legislation allows for terror suspects to be held without charge for up to 14 days.

Commenting on the arrests, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “It is one of a series of arrests that we have had over the last few weeks which, taken together, for me confirm that the drumbeat around terrorism has changed. It’s a more intense drumbeat – we are having to be more interventionist and a lot of it is linked back to Syria and Iraq.”

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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