Ti menn med pakistansk bakgrunn er arrestert i Nord-England mistenkt for å ha planlagt et terrorangrep. En tabbe gjorde at den store politiaksjonen måtte fremskyndes. Sjefen for Scotland Yards avdeling for spesielle operasjoner Bob Quick ble fotografert på vei til et møte i Downing Street. Et dokument stempet «hemmelig» var godt synlig, med detaljer om den forestående operasjonen.
Counter-terrorist police arrested 10 young men across the north-west tonight in an operation hastily brought forward following an embarrassing security leak by a senior Scotland Yard commander.
The men, detained at John Moores University in Liverpool, an internet cafe and a house in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, as well as at addresses in Lancashire, are suspected of involvement in an al-Qaida plot aimed at attacking the UK.
At least one is believed to be a student, the others were born in Pakistan.
The arrests were triggered after Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, head of Scotland Yard’s specialist operations wing, was photographed this morning clutching sensitive documents as he arrived in Downing Street. Clearly visible on top of a large bundle of papers under his arm was a white document marked «secret» that carried an outline for briefing on a current counter-terrorism operation. He was on his way to attend a cabinet security committee.
Realising the existence of the photos of the document – which included the names of several senior officers, sensitive locations and details about the nature of the overseas threat – a «D notice» was imposed by the government to restrict the media from revealing the contents of the picture.
The arrests were due to happen in several days’ time, but because of the leak were carried out in daylight, in direct contravention of the usual practice of arresting people while they sleep.
Two of those arrested are believed to be British citizens, another two are naturalised but born in Pakistan.
Britain’s threat level today remained unchanged at severe general, meaning that officials believed that there was a high risk of attack.