This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2327

Restaurant and Islamic school raided in London as police arrest 14 more terror suspects not connected to previous plots

September 3, 2006

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2340024,00.html
Times Online September 02, 2006

14 held in new anti-terror raids

BY TIMES ONLINE AND PA
Police have arrested 14 men following anti-terror raids in south and east London.

The men were arrested late last night and in the early hours of today on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Searches are being carried out at homes in south, east and north London, Scotland Yard said.

The suspects are in custody at a central London police station.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Anti-Terrorist Branch have arrested 14 men under the Terrorism Act 2000 in a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation.

"The arrests in south and east London follow many months of surveillance and investigation in a joint operation involving the Anti-Terrorist Branch, Special Branch and the Security Service."

The spokesman added that the arrests were not linked to the recent alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners or the July 7 bombings in London.

There were between 60 and 70 people at the Bridge to China Town restaurant last night where the majority of the people were thought to have been arrested.

As a halal restaurant, it regularly attracts the Muslim community and serves no alcohol.

Mohammed, who left the restaurant before yesterday's raid, said people were drawn in by the 4.99 buffet which is served on a daily basis.

Beneath the Chinese restaurant is a Persian restaurant called Iran e Ma, which is also thought to have been searched by the police.

Teenager Ross Jackson, who lives opposite, said he saw about 50 police officers, many in riot gear, pull up outside the restaurant.

The 18-year-old said: "There were about eight police vans and a large number of police in riot gear.

"There were police cars lined up on the street - I think it was over the top for the number of people I saw being taken away."

Mr Jackson saw one man whom he described as Muslim in appearance wearing a white robe and a beard being surrounded by armed police.

He said: "At about 10.30 I heard some big skids on the road and doors being shut and then I looked out of the window and I saw police jumping out on to the road and running to the restaurant.

"I was looking out of the window watching them and I saw the police in the restaurant standing around some man - he looked like a Muslim.

"I was thinking I have never seen anything like this in my life and having lived here for two months I thought what the heck did I move to."

Mr Jackson, who is currently unemployed, said the area was quite ethnically diverse.

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said he saw a man wearing a long robe and a head-dress being taken away by police.

He said he saw a large group of what looked like Muslims sitting in one corner of the restaurant. "They come here quite often but I haven't seen such a large group here before, they were sitting altogether in the corner."

Scotland Yard said later that police were also searching a location in Mark Cross, East Sussex.

A spokesman said: "We are conducting a search in East Sussex in relation to the arrests today."

It is reported that about 100 officers are examining what is believed to be an Islamic school.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2327