6 held under UK anti-terrorism law

Updated: 2007-04-24 18:47

LONDON - Anti-terrorism officers arrested six Muslim men in London in dawn raids on Tuesday, on suspicion of inciting terrorism overseas and raising funds for terrorists.

Abu Izzadeen (R) interrupts a speech by British Home Secretary John Reid during a news conference in London, September 20, 2006. [Reuters]
The six, including Abu Izzadeen who millions saw on television heckling British Home Secretary John Reid at a public meeting last year, were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000, a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said.

The suspects were held "in low key operations" at 5 a.m. at five addresses in London and one in Luton, north of the capital.

"The arrests form part of a long-term pro-active and complex investigation into alleged incitement and radicalization for the purposes of terrorism, as well as alleged provision of financial support for international terrorism," the spokeswoman said.

A security source said the arrests were not related to the July 7 2005 suicide bomb attacks by four British Islamists in London which killed 52 people or any other ongoing major counter terrorism operation.

Anjem Choudary, a former leader of the banned organization Al-Ghurabaa, confirmed that Izzadeen, who had been another senior figure in the group, was among those arrested.

Izzadeen, who was born Trevor Brooks in Jamaica, shot to prominence when he heckled Reid during a speech to Muslim leaders last September, urging them to root out extremism.

He has not been accused of any crime over that outburst but was charged by police earlier this year with encouraging terrorism during a speech he gave in Birmingham in 2006.

Choudary told Reuters the latest accusations related to speeches and talks the men had made in 2004.

"They are all active Islamists in the community. They are all passionate about what they believe," he said.

"They all stand up against the government and their foreign policy. At the end of the day they have done nothing illegal and this is just another witch hunt and crusade against the Muslim community."

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