Belfast Telegraph

Friday 3 July 2015

Sixth man arrested as police continue Pope 'terror plot' probe

Published 18/09/2010 | 01:34

Pope Benedict XVI greets former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher in Westminster Hall
Pope Benedict XVI greets former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher in Westminster Hall
Pope Benedict XVI during a Celebration of Evening Prayer, at Westminster Abbey
Former British Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg await Pope Benedict XVI in Westminster Hall
Dean of Westminster John Hall (R) escorts Pope Benedict XVI (2nd R) as he arrives at Westminster Abbey
Pope Benedict XVI leaves Lambeth Palace in the 'Popemobile' for the short journey to Westminster Hall
Pope Benedict XVI meets Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace
Pope Benedict XVI leaves Westminster Hall in the 'Popemobile' in central London
Former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair (right) and Gordon Brown await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Westminster Hall, London
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown greets Cherie Blair as they wait for Pope Benedict XVI to arrive to give a speech at Westminster Hall, London
Pope Benedict XVI is embraced by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams during a Celebration of Evening Prayer at Westminster Abbey
Pope Benedict XVI is embraced by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams during a Celebration of Evening Prayer at Westminster Abbey
Pope Benedict XVI crosses Lambeth Bridge on his way to the Houses of Parliament after meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury
Pope Benedict XVI crosses Lambeth Bridge on his way to the Houses of Parliament after meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury
Pope Benedict XVI crosses Lambeth Bridge on his way to the Houses of Parliament after meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury
Pope Benedict XVI greets a young child as he arrives for a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in SW London
Pope Benedict XVI during The Big Assembly a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
Pope Benedict XVI during The Big Assembly a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
MP Peter Tatchell joins other protesters during a demonstration, as Pope Benedict XVI arrives at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in South West London
MP Peter Tatchell joins other protesters during a demonstration, as Pope Benedict XVI arrives at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in South West London
Pope Benedict XVI during The Big Assembly a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
Pope Benedict XVI during The Big Assembly a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
People look on as Pope Benedict XVI attends The Big Assembly a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
A school girl holds a decorated crucifix and a Papal flag as she watches Pope Benedict XVI at The Big Assembly gathering at St Mary's University College during day two of his four day state visit at Twickenham
Benedict XVI arrives for a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
A nun passes through a security checkpoint during preparations for Pope Benedict XVI visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Children with their cameras await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for his visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
A nun walks past police officers during preparations for Pope Benedict XVI arrival at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Police motorcyclists prepare for Pope Benedict XVI arrival at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Pope Benedict XVI greets school children as he arrives at St Mary's University College at Twickenham
Signs on the pavement outside St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London, before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI travels in the back of a car as he passes protestors on his arrival at St Mary's University College during day two of his four day state visit to the United Kingdom at Twickenham
Protestors are watched by police before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for his visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI arrives for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Susan Boyle performs at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, ahead of an open-air mass by Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI kisses a young child as he arrives for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland
Baby Maria Tyszczak with her mother Marzena Tyszczak, who Pope Benedict XVI blessed, as he arrived at Glasgow's Bellahouston Park ahead of an open-air mass during the first day of a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Guests wait to greet Pope Benedict XVI in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during day one of his four day state visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joined a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI
A demonstrator in Edinburgh as Pope Benedict XVI begins his first papal state visit to the UK
Joseph O'Driscoll originally from Dublin protests with a placard along Lothian Road, Edinburgh ahead of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI pass Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (left) as they walk through the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley (right) joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI walk through the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh listen as Pope Benedict XVI addresses a crowd in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI meet school children outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland, on September 16, 2010 in Edinburgh
Pilgrims gather before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland
Pilgrims gather ahead of the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI meet school children outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto after the British national anthem is played during his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Members of the public in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park ahead of an open-air mass by Pope Benedict XVI, as he begins the first papal state visit to the UK
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh talk with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh walk with Pope Benedict XVI to the Morning Drawing Room in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II exchanges gifts with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II greets Pope Benedict XVI at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II meets Pope Benedict XVI as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (left) and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond (right) watch on at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto as he meets with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto as he meets with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh as he arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh as he arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh (left) as he arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
A close up view of the shoes worn by Pope Benedict XVI as he arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
The altar at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Merchandise commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
Flag sellers in Edinburgh ahead of the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in, where he will begin the first papal state visit to the UK
The altar at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Preparations continue at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Preparations continue at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
A member of the public wearing a kilt and holding a bag commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
The grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead a mass by Pope Benedict
An advert on a billboard by the Good Without God organization in Glasgow ahead of a visit by Pope Benedict
Merchandise commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
Members of the public await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he will begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Staff at Edinburgh Airport prepare the red carpet for Pope Benedict XVI ahead of his arrival there at the start of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The papal chair at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom

Police were questioning a sixth man last night as counter-terrorism detectives continued to investigate a plot to attack the Pope.

Scotland Yard said the suspect, aged 29, was held by officers at a home in north London shortly before 2pm.

A spokesman said he was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.





Last night, police were searching eight homes in north and east London and two business premises in central London, including a street-cleaning depot.





Five street cleaners were arrested at gunpoint as armed officers swooped on their base as they prepared to start their shift shortly before 6am.





They work for Veolia Environmental Services, a contractor which employs 650 on-street staff to keep the streets of Westminster clean.





Searches of the depot and their homes in north and east London did not reveal any weapons or suspicious materials.





But senior detectives said they were compelled to act after a tip-off about suspicious activity late last night.





The security alert led to a review of the huge police operation surrounding the visit of Benedict XVI, but his itinerary went ahead as planned.





His spokesman said the Pope was informed of the arrests but remained "totally calm" and will continue to enjoy his trip.





The police operation began shortly before 6am at Veolia's Chiltern Street depot, in Marylebone, where staff are responsible for cleaning surrounding streets.





The five suspects, aged 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50, were held on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.





It is understood all five are of North African origin, including several from Algeria.





A huge security and public order operation swung into action yesterday as the Pope touched down in Britain.





Thousands of officers are involved in the operation from forces including the Met, Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, West Midlands and British Transport Police.





The cost of policing the Pope's visit to Britain will exceed £1.5 million and is being coordinated by South Yorkshire Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes.





Senior officers said there was no information ahead of the visit to suggest any "specific group" wanted to attack the Pope.





But they warned people not to underestimate the "passion and the fervour" the visit would bring.





Police also interviewed mentally unstable people who they feared may pose a threat to the Pope.





A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Today's arrests were made after police received information. Following initial inquiries by detectives, a decision was made to arrest the five men.





"Following today's arrests the policing arrangements for the Papal visit were reviewed and we are satisfied that our current policing plan remains appropriate. The itinerary has not changed. There is no change to the UK threat level."





Leith Penny, of Westminster City Council, thanked police for their "swift" action as he said national security is of "critical importance".





He said: "Veolia and Westminster City Council work closely with the relevant authorities to constantly ensure that all the people working on their behalf are subject to right to work checks as prescribed by the Home Office to assess their eligibility to work in the country.





"We are confident that these checks are robust and we will continue to work with the police and other authorities during this investigation."





Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said the Pope was informed of the threat during his visit to St Mary's University College, in Twickenham.





He was 30 minutes late for prayers in St Mary's Chapel, but it is not known if this was because of the unexpected intervention.





Father Lombardi said: "We are totally confident in the work of the police and Scotland Yard. We have no particular preoccupation with this.





"The police have already said that the information that they have collected until now demonstrates there is no need to change anything on the programme of the Pope and the security measures."





A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said: "We have absolute confidence in the security operation to protect both the Pope and the public.





"The Pope is enjoying a wonderful visit, warmly welcomed wherever he goes."



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