UK freezes assets of suspects in transatlantic plane bombings plot

[JURIST] British banking officials froze the assets [notice, PDF; press release] Friday of 19 suspects believed to be involved in a terrorist plot to blow up multiple planes traveling from UK airports to various destinations in the United States, while also making those suspects' identities publicly available. UK police officials initially announced the arrests [JURIST report; Met press release] of 21 suspects Thursday, though it was later reported that 24 people have been detained [BBC report] under UK anti-terrorism laws [Home Office materials]. Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said that the "arrests were made on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of Acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000." Assets of 19 of those suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 35, were subsequently frozen by the Bank of England [official website] in accordance with a 2001 Order [text] giving effect to Security Council Resolution 1373 [PDF text] on combating terrorist activities. Meanwhile, local officials said Friday that police have arrested at least seven people in Pakistan [AP report] in connection with the alleged plot, including two British nationals. Those two men were arrested last week, and a senior Pakistani official said that interrogations subsequent to their arrest revealed information about the plot. Reuters has more.

In the United States, Muslim civil rights groups have urged [CAIR news brief] President Bush and other government officials to use restraint in using terminology describing the plot that "contributes to a rising level of hostility to Islam and the American-Muslim community." In a statement [text] on the terror plot Thursday, Bush said "The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." The Council on American-Islamic Relations [advocacy website] called the fascism reference "ill-advised" and "counterproductive." Reuters has more.

 

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