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Authorities arrest 16 terror suspects



Published: Sat, September 2, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The arrests were not related to last month's suspected plot, police said.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

LONDON -- Scores of British anti-terror police raided a Chinese restaurant in London late Friday, arresting 12 men on suspicion of recruiting and training for terror attacks.

Two other suspects in the case were picked up elsewhere in London, police said, and in Manchester anti-terror police announced two more arrests in an unrelated terror investigation.

Police said none of the arrests was linked to last month's alleged plot to use liquid explosives to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

Raid at restaurant

According to witnesses, scores of police surrounded the Bridge to China Town restaurant in south London immigrant neighborhood shortly after 10 p.m. Friday.

Police entered the crowded establishment and informed diners that everyone would be questioned under the Terrorism Act.

Restaurant owner Mehdi Belyani said police appeared to focus on about 15 men and two boys who had come into the restaurant about an hour earlier. He said some of the men were wearing Muslim dress.

"Plenty of [police officers] suddenly came in all together. There were more than 50 or 60 of them," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "They talked to them [for] more than one hour, two hours, and they arrested some of them."

The men were seen leaving in handcuffs.

Few details about the suspects have emerged, and there was no indication that police were focusing on a specific plot. In a terse statement, Scotland Yard said "the arrests in south and east London follow many months of surveillance and investigation in a joint operation involving the Anti-Terrorist Branch, Special Branch and Security Service."




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