Aid convoy terror suspects released without charge

Three men arrested on suspicion of terrorism as an aid convoy set off for Gaza were released without charge, police said today.

The suspects were held with six other men last Friday night on the M65 near Preston in Lancashire, after two vans and an ambulance travelled to London to join the convoy to the middle East.

Police said it was an on-going intelligence-led operation and searched the vans and a number of homes in Burnley.

They released six of the men held but kept three others, aged 26, 29 and 36, in custody until they were released today.

The convoy, carrying medicine, clothing and shoeboxes of toys set off from the capital on Saturday accompanied by Respect party MP George Galloway.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cooke, Lancashire Constabulary's lead for Counter Terrorism, said today: "Lancashire Constabulary, with the support of the North West Counter Terrorism Branch, will robustly investigate any information that is passed to us about possible terrorist activity and if necessary take action.

"Terrorism affects us all and protecting the safety of the public is of paramount importance. Security for our communities is our highest priority and sometimes we have to make arrests.

"We will continue to do our utmost to help people recognise signs of suspicious behaviour so that they in turn can help defeat terrorism.

"I would also like to thank local residents who have been affected by this operation for their support and patience during what has been an understandably difficult time."