UK police free 1 bomb plot suspect, hold 9
By Peter Graff
LONDON (Reuters) – British police investigating a suspected
plot to blow up transatlantic airliners freed one suspect on
Wednesday and obtained permission to continue questioning nine
Police had already charged 11 suspects on Tuesday in the
suspected plot and were holding 11 others pending a decision on
whether to charge them.
They did not name the man they freed on Wednesday, but Sky
News reported that he was Tayib Rauf of Birmingham, Britain’s
second city. His brother Rashid Rauf has been arrested in
Pakistan, where authorities called him a ringleader of the
British police later said they had obtained a judge’s
permission to continue questioning eight of the additional
suspects for a further week, and one for just 24 more hours.
One other suspect was still being held under an earlier
warrant and was expected to be charged or freed overnight.
Under new anti-terrorism powers that came into force last
month, police can hold suspects without charge for up to 28
days, but must seek a judge’s permission every seven days.
British police announced on August 10 they had thwarted the
plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic by smuggling liquid
explosives onto flights, after overnight raids in Birmingham,
London and a town west of the capital.
Those charged on Tuesday include eight British Muslims
accused of conspiracy to murder, a 17-year-old accused of
having items useful to terrorists and two others, including the
only woman still held, accused of failing to report the plot.
Police gave the first description of their evidence in the
case on Tuesday, saying they had found bomb-making materials,
suicide notes and “martyrdom videos” — an apparent reference
to the last testaments of suicide bombers.
Seventeen people, including at least two British nationals,
are being held in Pakistan in connection with the plot.
Pakistan says they have links to al Qaeda.
The discovery of the suspected bomb plot prompted tight new
security measures on air travel on both sides of the Atlantic.