British Anti-Terror Squads Strike in Pre-Dawn Raid
By Selwyn Manning – Scoop Co-Editor
Intelligence-Security Watch: Over 500 British intelligence and security officers have conducted pre-dawn raids on the homes of alleged terrorists throughout England.
British authorities claim the seven individuals arrested were planning terrorist attacks outside of Britain and inside Iraq. Two other suspects were released shortly after the arrests.
The raids were a joint operation between British immigration, security forces, and, the nation's domestic intelligence wing, MI5. Britain suspects those arrested were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – which aligned to the feared Algerian Armed Islamic Group.
Members of these two groups are reported as residing in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, and East Ham London. The British Home Office confirmed today five of those held were foreign nationals detained under powers to 'deport individuals whose presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good'.
The BBC reported Tahir Nasuf, of the Sanabel Relief Agency was among those arrested. The Washington Post reported that the Sanabel website states the organisation's "task is to aid and relieve Muslims in the destitute parts of the world." The Post reports U.S. officials had earlier accused Sanabel of being a terrorist-financing organisation affiliated with Libya-based extremists and al Qaeda.
"In February, the U.S. Treasury Department formally designated Sanabel as a group providing financial assistance to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and froze its assets. Treasury officials said that group 'supports terrorist activities in Libya and has attempted to overthrow' Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi," The Washington Post reported.
Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence group, suggests United States and British intelligence organisations are on high alert, determined to prevent terror strikes against the newly sworn-in Iraq government. Those arrested in Britain are alleged to have been planning logistics for an attack inside Iraq.
Stratfor reports: "If sectarian violence continues (in Iraq), it will mean there is no political foundation, no government and no change in the situation in Iraq. In that case, the United States will have to choose between remaining and mitigating a chaotic situation, or leaving and letting events run their course -- which also means leaving an open field for Iranian ambitions…
"We expect a surge of violence from elements who oppose the political agreement in Baghdad and see themselves being squeezed out. Their hope will be that the violence, particularly against the Shia, will trigger a Shiite response and cause the settlement to collapse," Stratfor reports.