British Police Hold 5 on Terror Charges as Pope Visits
British police arrested five men early Friday on terrorism charges related to the visit here of Pope Benedict XVI, Scotland Yard said.
The police spokeswoman said the arrests were made at a business in central London at 5:45 a.m. and that five men, between 26 and 50 years old, were in custody “on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”
The arrests came after detectives conducted “initial inquiries,” the spokeswoman said, without elaborating. Police officers subsequently searched offices in central London and homes in north and east London, but no “hazardous materials” were reported to have been found.
There was no immediate word on the identity of the suspects, although the BBC reported that the men were not British citizens and Sky News said they were Algerians.
The five mixed nationality men are 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50 years old. They were arrested in an armed operation at business premises where searches are continuing.
Residential premises in north and east London are also being searched. Officers have not found any hazardous items.
It is not clear whether the investigations relate to a plot against the Pope himself, an element of the visit or events or other matters that may be connected to the visit.
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