London bomber widow arrested


Summary

Police sources said Hasina Patel, 29, the widow of bombers’ ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan, was arrested by British anti-terror police in an early morning raid.

Her brother Arshad Patel and two other men, named by sources as Khalid Khaliq and Imran Motala, were also detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation, or instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The raids took place in or around the northern city of Leeds, where five houses were being searched, and in Birmingham, central England.

The BBC reported that Khaliq was from the same street in Beeston, Leeds, as Khan’s fellow suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer. Three of the four July 7 attackers had links to Beeston and Dewsbury.

The investigation into the bombings, which killed 56 people, seems to be gathering pace as three men last month became the first people to appear in court over the blasts.

Mohammed Shakil, 30, Sadeer Saleem, 26, and Waheed Ali, 23, all from Beeston, appeared at London’s Central Criminal Court charged with conspiring with the bombers to cause explosions.

They appeared via a video link from prison on April 20 and were remanded in custody until June 8.

The suspects arrested Wednesday were taken to a central London police station for interviews in custody by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“This was a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Since the attacks, “detectives have continued to pursue many lines of inquiry both here in the UK and overseas,” he added.

“This remains a painstaking investigation with a substantial amount of information being analysed and investigated.

“We are determined to follow the evidence wherever it takes us to identify any other person who may have been involved, in any way, in the terrorist attacks.”

The police and the security services have faced recent criticism over their handling of the attacks.

A BBC television program claimed last week that links were missed between Khan and Tanweer and those recently convicted for a fertiliser bomb plot.

Security service agents observed Khan and Tanweer meeting the fertiliser plot ringleader Omar Khyam on numerous occasions in 2004.

It was also claimed that Khan came to the attention of counter-terrorist police just five months before the London attacks.

The Islamist extremist suicide bombers — three Britons of Pakistani origin and one naturalised Jamaican — detonated rucksack devices on three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus.

The attack, at the height of rush hour, was the worst-ever terrorist atrocity on British soil and the first such suicide attack in Europe.

The bombings were followed exactly two weeks later by an alleged copycat attack which failed. Six men are currently on trial over that incident.

The government’s official narrative of the attacks released last year identified Beeston, and the social life around its mosques, youth clubs, gyms and Islamic bookshops, as a focal point for the bombers.


Police sources said Hasina Patel, 29, the widow of bombers’ ringleader Mohammed Sidique Khan, was arrested by British anti-terror police in an early morning raid.

Her brother Arshad Patel and two other men, named by sources as Khalid Khaliq and Imran Motala, were also detained on suspicion of the commission, preparation, or instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The raids took place in or around the northern city of Leeds, where five houses were being searched, and in Birmingham, central England.

The BBC reported that Khaliq was from the same street in Beeston, Leeds, as Khan’s fellow suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer. Three of the four July 7 attackers had links to Beeston and Dewsbury.

The investigation into the bombings, which killed 56 people, seems to be gathering pace as three men last month became the first people to appear in court over the blasts.

Mohammed Shakil, 30, Sadeer Saleem, 26, and Waheed Ali, 23, all from Beeston, appeared at London’s Central Criminal Court charged with conspiring with the bombers to cause explosions.

They appeared via a video link from prison on April 20 and were remanded in custody until June 8.

The suspects arrested Wednesday were taken to a central London police station for interviews in custody by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“This was a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Since the attacks, “detectives have continued to pursue many lines of inquiry both here in the UK and overseas,” he added.

“This remains a painstaking investigation with a substantial amount of information being analysed and investigated.

“We are determined to follow the evidence wherever it takes us to identify any other person who may have been involved, in any way, in the terrorist attacks.”

The police and the security services have faced recent criticism over their handling of the attacks.

A BBC television program claimed last week that links were missed between Khan and Tanweer and those recently convicted for a fertiliser bomb plot.

Security service agents observed Khan and Tanweer meeting the fertiliser plot ringleader Omar Khyam on numerous occasions in 2004.

It was also claimed that Khan came to the attention of counter-terrorist police just five months before the London attacks.

The Islamist extremist suicide bombers — three Britons of Pakistani origin and one naturalised Jamaican — detonated rucksack devices on three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus.

The attack, at the height of rush hour, was the worst-ever terrorist atrocity on British soil and the first such suicide attack in Europe.

The bombings were followed exactly two weeks later by an alleged copycat attack which failed. Six men are currently on trial over that incident.

The government’s official narrative of the attacks released last year identified Beeston, and the social life around its mosques, youth clubs, gyms and Islamic bookshops, as a focal point for the bombers.