International Affairs

Nine Pakistani students transferred to Borders Agency

LONDON: After apparently failing to find any solid evidence linking to terrorism, the British Police has released nine out of ten Pakistani students arrested on April 8 on suspicion of terror and transferred them into the custody of UK Borders Agency for possible deportation. The Manchester?based North West Counter Terrorism Unit has released nine of those arrested as part of a national operation. The men, aged 30, 38, 22, 25, 28, 26, 26, 22 and 25 have all been handed over into the custody of the UK Borders Agency. Two men remain in police custody.

On April 8 officers from anti Terrorism Unit arrested 12 men under the Terrorism Act. One was subsequently released into the custody of the UK Borders Agency. The remand of the arrested students was due to expire on Wednesday. The Manchester Police in a statement said these arrests were carried out after a number of UK agencies gathered information that indicated a potential risk to public safety. Protecting the public is the main focus of the police, the statement added.

It further said the officers are continuing to review a large amount of information gathered as part of this investigation and investigations of this nature are extremely complex. Anti?terror police raided at least 14 properties in Liverpool, Manchester, and Clitheroe, Lancashire, on April 8. Searches are continuing at an address at Galsworthy Avenue, Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

According to a Home Office spokesman the UK was now seeking to remove the men “on grounds of national security”. Of the 12 men arrested in the raids, 11 were Pakistani nationals, 10 held student visas and one was from Britain.

The spokesman said: “The government’s highest priority is to protect public safety. Where a foreign national poses a threat to this country we will seek to exclude or to deport, where this is appropriate.”

The raids in north?west England had to be brought forward following a blunder by the UK’s most senior counter?terror officer. Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick quit his post a day after the operation, when he was photographed carrying the document to the Downing Street which revealed operational details.-APP

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Mubashar Nizam

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