News Brief – January 7, 2007
It’s becoming a familiar tale: after much media fuss over an alleged terror plot, in which plans were allegedly uncovered to kidnap and behead a Muslim British soldier, the "terror threat" has begun to evaporate.
Now two of the nine men arrested under anti-terrorism laws during raids in Birmingham last week have been released without charge.
"Two of the men were not granted an extension in custody and therefore had to be charged or released in the early hours of the morning," a West Midlands police spokesman said.
A further seven still remain in custody after dawn raids at addresses around Birmingham last week; the ninth was stopped on a motorway in the city.
They were held in connection with an alleged plot to abduct and behead a Muslim British soldier.
However, in a statement after the two men had been released from Coventry's Chace Avenue police station, their solicitor said nothing of this sort had been mentioned to them.
"They have left the police station without any better understanding of why they were there than when they first arrived, seven days ago," Gareth Peirce said.
"Not a word was ever mentioned to either of them about a plot to kidnap, or the grisly suggestion of a beheading, or even of a soldier at all.
"Both have been met with a consistent refusal over seven days for any explanation for their arrest. They are convinced that others in the police station must be as innocent as they and urge that they also be swiftly released."
Yesterday, a district judge granted detectives a further three days to question seven of the nine men, but refused an extension on the other two. The decision gave police until 4am today to either charge, bail or release them.
Police have not yet named any of the detained men and have refused to comment publicly about any alleged plot.
As we wrote when we first reported these arrests: it’s almost as if a team of PSYOP specialists were writing the scripts and using the police and media to flesh out the prospect of an “imminent threat”. Like stage conjurers of yore, contriving "terror" out of nothing at all.
And note the timing of their release, just after 4.00a.m. Wednesday morning: at the precise time when most locals would be fast asleep and it would garner minimal attention.
Another UK Terror Plot Foiled?
Last updated 08/02/2007