Saturday, April 11, 2009

UK Terror Plot Disrupted - Details

Via Northeast Intelligence Network -

Intelligence officials in the UK arrested 12 Muslim men who planned to carry out an attack specifically targeting shoppers for the Christian Easter holiday. The results, according to officials, had the potential to be more devastating than the July 7, 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people. At least ten of the men arrested are Pakistani nationals from the North West Frontier Province who are in the UK on student visas, according to British intelligence sources. The ages of the men range from 18 to 41; at least ten residences in Manchester and Liverpool are currently being searched by police and intelligence officials.

The terrorists had selected at least 3 separate shopping centers, targeting Christian shoppers for the East holiday. Additionally, the photograph of the Birdcage nightclub was found and believed to be a possible target of the terrorists. The Arndale and Trafford shopping centers, and St. Anne’s Square were the other reported targets. Photographs, maps, and other documents relating to those locations were found by police at more than one of the suspects’ residences.

Currently, the BBC and other media outlets are reporting that the terrorist plot was “more inspirational than operational.” The BBC is also reporting that the staff at the shopping centers identified as terrorist targets had not been informed of any threat, and that stores were operating as normal over the Easter weekend.

“That is not exactly how I would characterize the state of their operation,” stated a British intelligence official interviewed by the Northeast Intelligence Network. ”There is evidence that the plans were a go for this weekend, and there is evidence that ’some of the men’ had handled explosives or the components to manufacture explosives,” added this source.

Police are currently looking for a location that served as a bomb factory in the Liverpool area where explosives reportedly were assembled.

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