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More held in UK terror probe

The arrests follow a series of raids by police in London and Leicester
The arrests follow a series of raids by police in London and Leicester  

LONDON, England -- British police have made more arrests in connection with the pan-European terrorism clampdown.

Four people -- two men and two women aged between 28 and 31 -- were arrested in Leicester, central England on Friday under the Immigration Act 1971, bringing the total number of arrests made over the past two days to 17.

Police are also searching two premises in Leicester and have executed search warrants at a further six premises.

Police in the city said the latest arrests were made in a joint operation between Leicestershire police and the Metropolitan police's anti-terrorist branch, with support from the immigration service.

Two of the men arrested in England are accused of having ties with al Qaeda. CNN's Jim Boulden reports (January 18)

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Of the 13 people arrested on Thursday, eight were held in Leicester under the Terrorism Act 2000, while one was arrested in London under the same legislation. Four men were arrested under the Immigration Act 1971 on Thursday.

All those held on Thursday are male, and are aged between 23 and 40, police said.

They remain in custody, though three have been transferred to the custody of the immigration service.

Police said the man arrested in London and all the men arrested in Leicester were in custody in Leicestershire.

The arrests came after specialist teams completed searches at six addresses in Leicester and one in London.

Meanwhile, two Algerian men who were arrested in Leicestershire in the earlier phase of the operation have appeared in court on suspicion of involvement in a plot to blow up the U.S. embassy in Paris.

One of them, a 37-year-old, was charged with directing the al Qaeda terrorist network in Europe, inciting an act of terrorism overseas, membership in al Qaeda, and four counts related to the financing of terrorism.

The other, a 30-year-old, was charged with al Qaeda membership, four counts related to the financing of terrorism, possession of an article (weapon) for the purpose of terrorism, and possession of racially inflammatory material with a view to distribute.

Both were remanded into custody until January 24.

Britain passed a controversial anti-terrorist law in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States that gives law enforcement authorities the power to detain foreign national terrorist suspects without trial.

The government said the law was aimed at a handful of people in Britain seen as a security threat but who could not be sent back to their home countries because they could face the death penalty.


• Eight terror suspects arrested
December 19, 2001
• UK passes anti-terror law
December 14, 2001
• UK MPs vote for anti-terror bill
November 20, 2001
• Prodi calls for EU unity on terror
November 15, 2001

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