Pakistan: British Terror Plot Foiled

Published July 13, 2005

| Associated Press

Pakistan's interior minister said Wednesday that a terror attack was thwarted in Britain (search) before the May general elections in that country — and arrests were made in several countries — because of help from Pakistan's government.

"Before the general elections in the U.K. we received reports that this sort of situation might arise, and attacks were aborted because of information provided by the government of Pakistan, and arrests were made in various countries and here," Interior Minster Aftab Khan Sherpao (search) told a news conference in the capital.

He gave no specifics about the alleged plot.

Sherpao made the revelations at a press conference to discuss the alleged role of British citizens of Pakistani origin in last week's terror attacks in London (search). He said Pakistan was fully cooperating with Britain in the current investigation.

"I don't want to be specific in this case because that would not be proper at this juncture, but whatever useful information that we have we will be providing to the British government," he said.

Sherpao would not comment on a report in Wednesday's New York Times that British authorities were seeking access to Zeeshan Haider, a 25-year-old British national arrested in May near Peshawar.

Several calls seeking comment from the British High Commission in Islamabad went unanswered.

British police raided six homes in Leeds on Tuesday, searching for explosives and computer files that might shed more light on what were believed to be the first suicide bombings in Western Europe. They arrested a man, identified by the British news agency Press Association as a relative of one of the suspected bombers.

A town councilor told The Associated Press that at least three of the presumed suicide bombers were British citizens of Pakistani ancestry.

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