British army raids Leeds Pakistani community

From today’s AP:

Police are investigating whether four attackers died in last week’s London subway and bus bombings and have arrested one suspect after a series of raids Tuesday in Leeds, a northern city with a strong Muslim community.

At least three of the suspected bombers came from the West Yorkshire region, which includes Leeds, said Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch.

Closed-circuit TV video showed that all four had arrived at King’s Cross station by 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, about 20 minutes before the blasts began that killed at least 52 people, Clarke said.


One of the suspects had been reported missing by his family at 10 a.m. Thursday, and some of his property was found on the double-decker bus in which 13 died, Clarke said. The family said the man had traveled to London with three other men.

Investigators also found personal documents bearing the names of two of the other men three near seats on the Aldgate and Edgware lines. Police did not identify the men.

Acting on six warrants stemming from those developments, British soldiers blasted their way into a modest Leeds row house Tuesday to search for explosives and computers. Streets were cordoned off and about 500 people were evacuated. Hours earlier, police searched five residences elsewhere in the city.

Leeds, about 185 miles north of London, has a population of about 715,000. About 15 percent of the residents are Muslim, and many come from a tight-knit Pakistani community, mostly from Murpir, south of Islamabad. Other pockets of the community are mostly Arab, coming from a variety of countries including Syria and Saudi Arabia.

The military, including a bomb squad, carried out the controlled explosion at the row house at 11:30 a.m. so detectives could enter the home in Burley, a neighborhood where public signs in storefronts and even a Church of England community center are printed in English and Arabic.

There was no immediate word of arrests.

No one was in the house at the time of the raid, police Inspector Miles Himsworth. Detectives were scouring it for explosives and other items, possibly computers, he said.

Police also shut down a rail station in Luton, 30 miles north of London, and carried out a controlled explosion on a car they suspect is linked to the terrorist attacks. Metropolitan Police officers from London examining the car carried out the controlled explosion, Bedfordshire police said.


Cordons kept bystanders about 100 yards away from the house in Burley and police helped arrange prayers scheduled at a nearby mosque to be moved to other mosques nearby, Himsworth said.

Is it just me, or is anyone else distrubed that the British army is involved in the raids, that 500 residents were displaced (even if temporarily), that explosives were used to “blast” into the apartment, and even that the London transport system is that closely surveilled by closed-circuit television? I know, it is nearly heretical to start getting nostalgic for freedom and privacy at a time like this, but I can’t help it…

Anyway, when are the conspiranoiacs going to weigh in and tell us that those targetted in the raids are just patsies for Mossad?

See our last post on the London attacks, and a commentary.

  1. A quick reversal
    Early reports said the bombs used in the London terror were “crude,” leading invesigators to see a small home-grown conspiracy rather than one of highly-trained, internationally coordinated terrorists. (E.g. NYT, July 9) Now they are saying the reverse. From today’s New York Times:

    Bombs in London Are Now Called Military Quality

    Published: July 12, 2005

    LONDON, July 11 – British investigators believe that the 10-pound bombs used in the coordinated terrorist attacks here contained “military quality” high-grade explosives, British and European counterterrorism officials said Monday.

    Investigators said they still did not know whether the explosives contained plastic materials, or were made some other way. But they said the material used in the bombs was similar to the kind manufactured for military use or made for highly technical commercial purposes, such as dynamite used for precision explosions to demolish buildings or in mining.

    Because of the small size of the bombs, some investigators initially said last week that they were relatively crude.

    On Monday, a senior European-based counterterrorism official with access to intelligence reports said the new information on the material indicated that the bombs were “technically advanced.” The official added: “There seems to be a mastery of the method of doing explosions. This was not rudimentary. It required great organization and was well put together.”