Pakistan man says UK terrorist suspect son ‘has no terror links’
Posted by musliminsuffer on April 22, 2009
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
Pakistan man says UK terrorist suspect son ‘has no terror links’
(Update: another 9 released, but will probably be deported anyway)
By: BBC/Guardian on: 21.04.2009 [23:17 ]
Armed officers took no chances when they arrested this suspect in Liverpool last week(pic)
‘If somebody has a religion, it does not mean he is an activist’
Update: Nine of the students suspected of being terrorists are released, with no charges against them. However, it appears that they are to be deported anyway…
Also read Craig Murray’s blog:
The father of one of the men arrested during a major anti-terrorism operation in north-west England has told the BBC his son has no links to extremism.
Nasrullah Jan Khattak told the BBC he was confident his 23-year-old son, Abid Naseer, would get justice from the British legal system.
Police are questioning 11 men arrested during raids in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire.
Most of them are Pakistani nationals in the UK on student visas.
Mr Khattak told the BBC that no-one in the family had ever had links with any extremist groups.
“I’m astonished how they could think that Abid has links with militant or terrorist groups,” he said.
“We are never involved in such activities.
“We cannot think about that – only education and prayers and fasting and that’s it. We are never involved. Not political, not active with anybody, not militant.
Last Friday evening, officers were granted an extra week to question the 11 men arrested on suspicion of plotting to detonate a bomb in north-west England.
An 18-year-old man released into the custody of the UK Border Agency will be deported, the BBC understands.
Mr Khattak said his son had appreciated the “freedom and respect of humanity” during his two years in England and that he had seen no change in him during that time.
His own experience of working with British people in Saudi Arabia and hearing about their homeland had given him faith in the UK legal system to treat his son fairly, he said.
“That they will do justice, I have heard from my son. And I related this, if they do injustice I will be shocked for that,” he said.
Members of the North West counter terrorism unit have been searching 12 properties in Liverpool, the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, and in Clitheroe, Lancashire, since last Wednesday’s raids.
Police say they have not found any explosives or identified a clear target for the alleged bomb plot.
However, the BBC understands that images of the popular Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping complexes, Birdcage nightclub and St Ann’s Square, all in Manchester, were found during searches.
On Monday evening, army bomb disposal officers were called in to one of the homes being searched in the Wavertree area of Liverpool. Police said the move was a “precaution”.
Also on video at:
Bomb disposal squad called in to site at centre of Liverpool terror arrests
Charlotte Gill and Jaya Narain
Last updated at 7:32 PM on 13th April 2009
Suspect: Mohammad Ramzan is believed to be one of the men being held after anti-terror raids in the North-West
Army bomb disposal experts have been called in by counter-terrorism officers investigating the suspected terror plot which saw 12 men arrested last week.
An area around Highgate Street in the Wavertree area of Liverpool was cordoned off as a precaution and a number of homes nearby were evacuated.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police stressed no dangerous device had been found but experts were brought in to help with the search of the property, which is continuing.
‘At this stage the experts have been called in as a precaution.
‘Cordons have been set up and a small number of homes evacuated.
‘Officers are working to ensure this is resolved with minimum disruption to local people and appreciate the community’s cooperation and understanding.’
Meanwhile sources said a number of the suspects arrested last week could be deported rather than charged due to lack of evidence against them.
The Pakistani men, most of them on British student visas, will be thrown out for breaching the terms of their entry if the police cannot find enough material to try them in court.
It is understood that the UK has already begun seeking assurances that the men would not face torture if they were sent back to Pakistan.
Deportations rather than charges would be humiliating for the police and M15 and embarrassing for Gordon Brown who said that arrests involved a ‘very big terrorist’ plot and criticised Pakistan for not doing more to tackle Islamist terrorism.
Extensive searches of properties have so far not believed to have led to the discovery of any bomb-making equipment or materials.
Yesterday police at one property in Manchester were seen removing sachets of sugar – sometimes used as a component in homemade explosives.
Police remain hopeful that information coming out of Pakistan coupled with emails, computer data and forensics found in the searched premises will lead to some charges.
Sources have said that the raids were brought forward after intelligence suggested that the group could strike as early as the Easter holiday.
Surveillance officers reported seeing some of the men filming buildings including the Trafford Centre, the Arndale Centre and the Birdcage nightclub in Manchester.
The terror raids in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside were planned for last week but had to be rushed by 12 hours after police anti-terror chief Bob Quick was photographed holding a secret document detailing the targets.
The blunder led him to resign the following day.
Twelve men – 11 Pakistani nationals and a UK-born Briton – were arrested. One, an 18-year-old Pakistani man, has since been released and is in the custody of immigration officials.
Haji Hazrat Ali described his son Mohammad as a ‘very humble, gentle boy who always concentrates on his studies’
The family of a man studying at Liverpool John Moores University said they believed that their son had been arrested and appealed for his release.
Relatives of Mohammad Ramzan, from Dera Ismail Khan in north west Pakistan, said they had been unable to contact him since last week.
His father Haji Hazrat Ali said the 25-year-old travelled to Britain in 2006 and was studying for an MBA.
He said: ‘He is a very humble, gentle boy and always concentrates on his studies. I firmly believe he simply cannot be involved in any negative activity.’
The family of Abdul Wahab Khan, 26, who lived with Ramzan while they studied at the university, have also voiced concern that their he may be among those arrested.
Khan’s older brother, Gulzar Jan, said he came to Britain in 2006 and was studying for a master’s degree in IT.
He said: ‘My brother is for sure innocent. He doesn’t deserve the treatment he might be getting in custody in the UK.’
Relatives of the two men said deportation would be a ‘great disgrace’.
Nasrullah Jan Khattak, the father of Abid Naseer who was named as a suspect, said: ‘Ours is a religious-minded family but this doesn’t mean that my son is part of a terrorist cell.’
He said Naseer went to England two years ago to study IT at a university in Manchester. His student visa was due to expire in September.
Details of a third man said to be one of those arrested also emerged.
Janas Khan, 25, is a student at Hope University in Liverpool and was working as security guard at Homebase in Clitheroe, Lancashire along with another terror suspect.
He is thought to have stayed at a flat in Liverpool owned by an suspected terror financier, Mohammed Benhammedi, who is alleged to have raise funds for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which is associated with al Qaeda.
Officers have been granted a further week to detain the 11, who range
Also see clip of Gordon Brown blaming Pakistan, although physical evidence of a plot has yet to be reported:
Nine men arrested over suspected terror plot released to UK borders agency
Tuesday 21 April 2009
Britain tonight moved to deport nine men arrested earlier this month following one of the country’s biggest anti-terror operations since the July 7 attacks in 2005.
The men have not been charged with any offences nearly two weeks after being arrested in raids across Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire. Two other men remain in custody. The nine men, aged between 22 and 38, were tonight released by Greater Manchester police into the custody of the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) in preparation for deportation to Pakistan.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are seeking to remove these individuals on grounds of national security. The government’s highest priority is to protect public safety. Where a foreign national poses a threat to this country we will seek to exclude or to deport, where this is appropriate.”
The arrests were mired in controversy as the operation had to be rushed forward following an embarrassing security leak by Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, the then head of Scotland Yard’s specialist operations wing.
Quick was photographed 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.
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. Quick resigned days after the arrests and the security blunder.
Counterterrorism officials at the time of the arrests said they believed an alleged al-Qaida terror plot against the UK, designed to cause mass casualties, was to have been carried out within days. Twelve men were arrested. Eleven of them were Pakistani nationals, 10 of whom were on student visas. A twelfth man was transferred to immigration officials earlier this month.
A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman (GMP) tonight said that searches are continuing at a property in Galsworthy Avenue, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.
The GMP spokeswoman said: “Protecting the public is the main focus of the police. These arrests were carried out after a number of UK agencies gathered information that indicated a potential risk to public safety.
“Officers are continuing to review a large amount of information gathered as part of this investigation.
“Investigations of this nature are extremely complex. We remain grateful to the support and cooperation of the communities affected.”
Officials have not released details about the reported terror plot but the prime minister, Gordon Brown, called it “very big.”
The 12 men were taken at seven locations across north-west England, and at least another eight addresses in the region were searched. Scores of students witnessed one arrest, carried out at Liverpool John Moores University.
The arrests were carried out in daylight because of the security leak, in direct contravention of the usual practice of arresting people while they sleep.
Moves to deport the nine men could lead to friction between Britain and Pakistan. Earlier this month the head of Pakistan’s interior ministry, Rehman Malik, said Britain should charge and prosecute the suspects if it has enough evidence.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW