Terror arrest Pakistanis to fight deportation


Police officers guard a house in Manchester, England, following raids and arrests of terror suspects.
The lawyer for three of the Pakistani men arrested in anti-terrorism raids in England this month said Wednesday that he will fight their deportation.

The three are among 11 Pakistani nationals who were released without charge Tuesday and Wednesday after up to 14 days in detention. Ten of the 11 were released into the custody of the UK Border Agency and police have said they want the men deported. “We are seeking to remove these individuals on grounds of national security,” a Home Office spokesman said in a statement Wednesday. “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 spokesman, who declined to be named, in line with policy, said Britain would work with the Pakistani authorities regarding the men’s return. In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said they had been advised by the Crown Prosecution Service that evidence gathered in the case was insufficient to warrant extending the men’s detention or pursuing charges. “This has been an extremely complex investigation that has involved officers working closely with other agencies to gather and examine large amounts of evidence,” GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy said. “We had a duty to act on April 9 to protect the public and a subsequent duty to investigate what lay before us. “When it comes to the safety of the public we can’t take any chances, we must act on information we receive. We don’t take these decisions lightly and only carry out this kind of action if it was wholly justified. Mohammed Ayub, a lawyer representing three of the men released Tuesday, said it is a breach of their human rights to have been held under serious allegations without charge. “I believe their [physical] conditions were fair until they were served with the deportation orders,” Ayub told CNN. “They are here legally on student visas and we are intending to fight the deportation orders. The next step is to seek a release on bail for the men, pending the hearing.” The arrests were made the week before Easter and came quickly after Britain’s chief terrorism officer, who has since resigned, inadvertently publicly exposed a list of people who were suspected of planning an al Qaeda-linked attack. Twelve people were originally arrested April 8. One had already been released before Tuesday, authorities said.

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At the time of the arrests, police said the probe had reached a point at which they had to take action — even without the blunder made by then-Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick. The document he was carrying when photographed outside 10 Downing Street contained the names of those to be arrested. Police rushed to make the arrests once the word was out. Authorities said those actions would have been taken in the following 24 hours anyway. The men — ranging in age from 18 to 22 — were arrested in and around Manchester, about 200 miles northwest of London. Authorities said they will need to seek an extension to be able to continue holding the two remaining suspects without charges. Police say they are continuing to review evidence collected in the case and are searching at least one more house.

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