Terrorism suspects held after MI5 operation in London

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The Independent Online

Members of a suspected network of Islamic extremists with links to the terrorist organisation al-Qa'ida have been arrested in London in an MI5 investigation.

Members of a suspected network of Islamic extremists with links to the terrorist organisation al-Qa'ida have been arrested in London in an MI5 investigation.

Police detained 11 men, several of Middle Eastern origin, in connection with an investigation into fund-raising and recruitment for Islamic terrorist organisations. Six of the men, in their 20s and 30s, were arrested in connection with terrorism offences, three for alleged criminal offences and two on suspicion of breaking immigration laws.

Officers from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch raided several houses and storage units on Wednesday, but details were not disclosed until yesterday. No bomb- making equipment or weapons were found but documents were removed for further investigation. A security source said: "This is an important series of arrests."

The source confirmed that some of the men, understood to be from the Middle East and British citizens with links to that region, were suspected extremists with links to al-Qa'ida.One of the men arrested for alleged criminal offences was bailed by police yesterday to return in October. The other suspects remain in custody.

There has been a string of arrests in Britain since last year but no one has yet been convicted of being involved in international terrorism.

* Mohammed Abdulah Azam Azam, 32, a computer programmer from Luton, was remanded in custody at Bow Street magistrates' court in London yesterday, accused of having books and documents outlining how to make bombs and weapons that could have been used in a terrorist attack.