Ten arrested in fresh Terror Act raids

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The Independent Online

Ten people were arrested today in a series of anti-terror raids, amid reports of a planned attack against the huge Trafford shopping centre in Manchester.

Ten people were arrested today in a series of anti-terror raids, amid reports of a planned attack against the huge shopping centre in Manchester.

The operation was launched early this morning by Greater Manchester Police and also involved the Staffordshire, West Midlands and South Yorkshire forces.

Officers refused to comment on the whether the raids were linked to Middle Eastern terror groups. But some reports said that the Trafford Centre was thought to have been a possible target.

A statement released by police said: "Ten people in total have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

"We appreciate the public interest in this but are unable to provide more details this stage."

The spokesman said a number of search warrants had been executed under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The operation comes less than a month after eight men were detained during a series of raids across south east England which led to the recovery of 600kg of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, which can be used in bomb making.

The targets of today's raids included a flat above a fast food takeaway in Upper Brook Street close to Manchester city centre.

Police condoned off an area outside the Dolphins takeaway and officers stood on guard.

Imad Alsabbagh, 46, owner of the Petra Syrian Restaurant next door, said he had known the person who lived in the flat for about a year.

He said he was a man in his mid 20s.

He added: "I came here at nine o'clock this morning to see the police cordon.

"I asked the police what had happened but they gave me no information. The people that run the takeaway are neighbours. They said hello, they are nice people and hard workers. They are Iraqi Kurds.

"As far as I know there was just one man that lived in the flat."

He added: "I've never seen anything unusual and there's absolutely nothing unusual about them."

Forensic officers in protective clothing were seen entering the premises.

Two police officers stood guard at the rear of the flat.

At the front, four police officers stood around the cordon and a police Transit van was parked nearby.

Neighbour Roy Burgess, 70, said the takeaway was a very popular place with local people.

He added: "I went out this morning, between five o'clock and six o'clock, and the police were stood outside the back of the flat.

"I went out again at about nine o'clock and they were still there.

"I don't know the people who run the takeaway but we've never had any trouble or any problems at all from them."

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said he could not comment and referred all queries to the Greater Manchester force.

Spokesmen for the West Midlands and Staffordshire forces also declined to release any information about the operation.