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6 Terror Suspects Arrested in European Police Raids
Tom Rivers
VOA, London
28 Nov 2003, 19:35 UTC

British police and forensic specialists searched more houses in Gloucester Friday, following the arrest of a 24-year-old man on suspicion of having links with the al-Qaida terror organization. Police raids in Italy, Germany and Britain since Thursday have led to the arrests of six terror suspects.

In Hamburg, Germany, police arrested an Algerian man on suspicion of trying to recruit suicide bombers for attacks against coalition targets in Iraq. Algerian Mahjub Abderrazak is alleged to be the ringleader of a network linked to al-Qaida.

In Milan, Italy, two north African men have been detained as part of the police round-up. The Italian Interior Ministry says two other suspects, an Iraqi man and a Tunisian woman, remain at large.

In Britain, police carried out more searches in Gloucester, a town about 145 kilometers west of London, and interrogated a 24-year-old Muslim arrested in Gloucester Thursday. Police say they found a small amount of explosive material at the home of Sajid Badat, whom they suspect of having links to al-Qaida.

Mr. Badat has been transferred to a high security jail in London for questioning. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, he can be held for seven days, before he has to be either charged with a crime or released.

British television station Sky News reported the police have found at Mr. Badat's home, sneakers with hollowed-out soles that could accommodate explosives, and are probing whether there is any link between the Briton of Pakistani origin and Richard Reid, the convicted shoe bomber who tried to blow up an American airliner two years ago.

In another case, a 39-year-old man was arrested Thursday in Manchester in northwestern England under suspicion of unrelated terrorist offenses.

The security threat alert in Britain has been raised to its second highest level for fear of possible al-Qaida attacks. Terrorism experts here say the chance of a terrorist attack being carried out in Britain is very high.