Five arrested after 'bomb factory' raid

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Armed police officers arrested five men yesterday after raiding a suspected "bomb factory" at a house in west London.

Armed police officers arrested five men yesterday after raiding a suspected "bomb factory" at a house in west London.

Equipment to build several small pipe bombs was removed from the house. Later, about 20 armed police searched a property about a quarter of a mile away, while 50 officers raided a house in Southend, Essex.

The five men, who were being questioned by police, are thought to have been planning a criminal act and were not involved in Irish or animal-rights terrorism.

Anti terrorist officers and officers from the firearms unit of the Metropolitan Police raided the ground-floor flat in Ealing at 7.35am and arrested the inhabitants on suspicion of conspiring to cause explosions. No shots were fired and no one was injured. Several of the suspects were thought to be London-based Irishmen.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "This was a carefully planned armed operation and we believe we may have thwarted a pipe bomb attack."

A small number of people living nearby had to be moved while the operation went ahead.

Josephine Newe, 26, whose bedroom backs on to the apartment raided by police, said: "I jumped out of bed. I didn't know what was going on. I just heard the glass smashing and the police said 'Stay indoors'. I nearly had a heart attack when I heard about the pipe bombs."

Aaron Lawler, 27, a local resident said: "Terrorism happens all over the world, but I am surprised it's reared its head in this area. It's actually an expensive place to live."

The second raid, at 3.30pm, was accompanied by a search of a nearby field at Ealing Rugby Club with more than 20 armed officers and sniffer dogs. Officers also used rakes to search a ditch surrounding the field.

Meanwhile, officers from Essex Police were searching a house in Southend. Two women, a man and two children were evacuated from the house, details of which are understood to have been found at the first property raided.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident and no equipment has been seized.

Comments