Six held over ‘terror plot’ released without charge

SIX men quizzed by counter-terrorism police probing a plot to attack the Pope were all released without charge, Scotland Yard said yesterday.

The men, all believed to be of North African origin, were arrested on Friday in London.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Six men who were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Friday, 17 September, were all released without charge late on Saturday night (September 18) and early this morning (Sunday, September 19).”

Police searched eight homes in north and east London and two business premises in central London, including a street-cleaning depot, as part of the investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the searches of the premises had been completed and had not revealed any weapons or suspicious materials.

The BBC quoted Scotland Yard sources saying that the men posed no credible threat, while the Sunday Mirror reported that the men had simply been overheard sharing a joke in their canteen.

The six are aged 26, 27, 29, 36, 40 and 50. One of the men, a 29-year -old, was arrested at a home in north London shortly before 2pm on Friday.

The five other men, believed to be street cleaners, were arrested at gunpoint as armed officers swooped on their base as they prepared to start their shift shortly before 6am on Friday.

They work for Veolia Environmental Services, a contractor which employs 650 on-street staff to keep the streets of Westminster clean.

A huge security and public order operation, costing in excess of £1.5 million (€1.79m) swung into action as the Pope arrived in Britain.

Thousands of officers are involved in the operation from forces including the Met, Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, West Midlands and British Transport Police.


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