Man released after terror raids

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The Independent Online

Greater Manchester police said today that they have released one of 12 people arrested on suspicion of planning a major terror plot.

A police spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity according to departmental policy, said the 18-year-old has been handed over to the U.K. border agency for questioning about his immigration status.

She said the other 11 suspects arrested in a series of raids in northern England three days ago are still in custody and being questioned.

British officials have not released details about the reported terror plot, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown described as "very big."

Brown has spoken with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari by telephone about the plot, but no details of the discussions have been released.

The British media has suggested the plot might have been set to begin as early as this holiday weekend.

The remaining suspects range in age from 22 to 41. Most are Pakistani nationals who were in Britain on student visas.

Some opposition leaders are calling for a crackdown on the student visa system, which allows tens of thousands of foreigners into Britain each year.

Police teams have searched at least 10 sites in the northern cities of Liverpool and Manchester in a quest for evidence.

The police raids had to be brought forward after Britain's anti-terrorism chief, Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, was photographed carrying clearly visible secret documents about the planned anti-terrorism operation.

Quick was pressured into resigning Thursday after his blunder.