News Brief – May 9, Updated May 16, 2007
This is being used as a diversion from the fact that a few days ago the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is responsible for prosecutions in England and Wales, acknowledged that the 7/7 bombers alleged leader, Mohammad Sidique Khan had been identified as a potential terror threat six months before 7/7. This completely contradicts earlier statements from Britain’s security services that Khan had been under surveillance but that he was only viewed as a “petty fraudster”.
In the immediate aftermath of the 7/7 attacks MI5 claimed that they had not seen Mohammad Sidique Khan as a potential terrorist.
However mainstream media reports on the arrest of Khan's former wife don't mention any of this; note for example how a BBC report on her arrest calls it a "quiz" without reference to the CPS's conclusions.
Update – May 16, 2007
In confirmation that Khan's former wife, Ms Patel's arrest was a diversion she's now been released without charge. Two of the three men who were arrested with her have also been released without charge. As we said at the time the arrests were being used to distract attention from the fact that one of Britain’s foremost legal bodies, the Crown Prosecution Service had declared that the alleged leader of the 7/7 bombers was judged a potential terrorist SIX MONTHS BEFORE the 7/7 attacks. Ed.
Lawyer for bomber's widow condemns police
Josie Clarke and Caroline Gammell – The Independent May 16, 2007
The solicitor of a woman released without charge after being arrested in connection with the July 7 bombings has condemned police for her treatment.
Last night Scotland Yard confirmed three people arrested in connection with the July 7 bombings had been released without charge.
Those released include Hasina Patel, 29, the widow of London bombings ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan.
Ms Patel's solicitor, Imran Khan, said he was relieved his client had been released, but shocked at the way she had been treated.
He said police had destroyed relations with the Muslim community in the way they had behaved towards the widow of Mohammed Sidique Khan.
A fourth man aged 34, Khalid Khaliq, remains in custody after police were granted a warrant to detain him for further questioning until May 21.
The two men released are Ms Patel's brother Arshad and Imran Motala.
The four were arrested in a series of anti-terror raids last Wednesday, during which properties in West Yorkshire and the West Midlands were searched.
All four, held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, were taken to the high-security Paddington Green police station in London for questioning.
Mr Khan told BBC News 24: "I'm relieved that she's out after her ordeal and shocked that the police only revealed at the last minute information which they had in their possession before Hasina was arrested which shows she had no idea, not an inkling of what Mohammed Sidique Khan was going to do."
While Mr Khan said he was not at liberty to reveal what that information was, he said it showed "clearly and unequivocally" that she knew nothing of what Sidique Khan was planning.
"What is shocking and outrageous in my view is, knowing that, that Hasina Patel was arrested in the full glare of publicity and kept in pretty awful conditions at Paddington Green station.
"She's quite clearly innocent of anything, because she's been released by police having trawled through her life and possessions and caused her a tremendous amount of grief.
"To arrest her in these circumstances, a woman who lost her husband who has been accused of the most atrocious events to take place in this country, has now spent seven days in isolation in Paddington Green - I wonder what she must be feeling.
"More importantly those in her community are incredibly angry at the way this case has been approached.
"In my view, if their intention in this case was to destroy what relations they had with the Muslim community, then they have done that."
Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Three people arrested on May 9 in connection with the terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005 have been released without charge
"A 30-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, both arrested in West Yorkshire, and a 22-year-old man, arrested in the West Midlands, were released from a central London police station this evening.
"In all operations some people may be released early without charge while others may remain in custody for further investigation. This is not unusual and is to be expected in large and complex criminal investigations.
"Officers were granted a warrant of further detention for a 34-year-old man, who was also arrested in West Yorkshire on May 9. This warrant expires on May 21."
The raids were led by the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism unit, with support from West Midlands and West Yorkshire police.
Properties in Dewsbury, Batley, Beeston in south Leeds, and Birmingham were subject to forensic investigation.
London was thrown into chaos two years ago when four suicide bombers exploded devices in three packed rush-hour London Underground Tube trains and a crowded bus.
The perpetrators - ringleader Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Jermaine Lindsay and Hasib Hussain - all died.
Last month, three men - Mohammed Shakil, 30, Sadeer Saleem, 26, and Waheed Ali, 23, from Beeston, Leeds - became the first people to appear in court charged with conspiring with the four.
Scotland Yard has always insisted the "painstaking" investigation into the bombings is far from over.
But there has also been criticism both of the police and the security services over their handling of the July 7 attacks.
Last updated 17/05/2007