Half a Tonne of Explosives found in Hanwell Lock Up

Terrorists thwarted as police make a series of arrests

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A property in Hanwell was raided as part of a major counter-terrorist operation that was conducted across London and the Home Counties. Police recovered more than half a tonne of ammonium nitrate fertiliser from a self-storage  facility in Boston Road. Part of the investigation will focus on the purchase, storage and intended use of that material. The Met would like to stress that there is no danger to the public in the area.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police, Bedfordshire Police, Surrey Police, Sussex Police and Thames Valley Police executed search warrants that had been granted under the Terrorism Act 2000. The operation involved 700 officers in total.

Eight men have been arrested today on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. - two in Uxbridge, one each in Ilford,  Horley, and Slough and three in Crawley. They will be interviewed by officers from the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch. The operation is not linked to either Irish Republican terrorism or to the recent attack in Madrid. The men who have been arrested are all British citizens or Pakistani origin aged between 17 and 32. 

National Co-ordinator of Anti-terrorist investigations DAC Peter Clarke said, 'we in the police service know that the overwhelming majority of the Muslim community are law abiding and completely reject all forms of violence. We have a responsibility to all communities to investigate suspected terrorist activity. Today, at both a local and national level, we have been holding discussions with community leaders and other representatives to address any concerns they may have.'

March 31, 2004