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Man arrested in Syria terror probe

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in Cornwall on suspicion of a terrorism offence linked to Syria, police have said.

The Bangladeshi national was detained in the seaside town of Hayle last night by officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit (Sectu) and Devon and Cornwall Police.

He is being questioned at a police station in the Devon and Cornwall area on suspicion of preparing for an act of terrorism.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said the arrest was "in relation to conflicts overseas" and not linked to any immediate threat to local communities or other parts of the UK.

A Sectu spokeswoman confirmed the arrest was related to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

West Cornwall local police area commander Superintendent Jim Pearce said: "I would like to reassure the community that this investigation should have very little impact on local residents.

"The arrest was pre-planned and was not made in response to any immediate threat to public safety in Hayle.

"Our officers will continue to maintain a presence in the area, offering reassurance to the local community."

A shop manager, who works in Fore Street, where the man is believed to have been arrested, said police remained in the area today.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "We're all shocked. We can't believe it."

British counter -terrorism police have made a number of arrests linked to the conflict in Syria in recent weeks.

A 21-year-old man was detained in Hackney, north east London, last Wednesday, while a 25-year-old woman in Bedfordshire and a 32-year-old man in London were questioned on October 22.

Three men and three women were also arrested in Portsmouth and Farnborough in Hampshire and Greenwich, south east London, on October 14.

A Sectu spokeswoman would not confirm whether the latest arrest was linked to any other case.

Anyone with information should contact police or call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

Devon and Cornwall Police said an increased police presence in the area was part of a pre-planned "major incident exercise" and not linked to the terror arrest.

"It is the statutory duty... that all agencies prepare and practise for a major incident," a force spokesman said.

"This exercise forms an integral part of a national training programme and is a necessary and important test of contingency plans. This provides invaluable training and experience for all participants.

"The exercise has been a year in the planning and the timing of it is not linked to the recent Terrorism Act arrest in Hayle or any other real-life events."

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