LONDON – Police arrested three terror suspects in separate raids early Wednesday in northern England's Greater Manchester area.
The men, aged 30, 32 and 35, were detained under the Terrorism Act 2000 and are to be taken to London for questioning by anti-terrorist police. Two of the men were arrested at separate addresses in central Manchester, and the third man in Bury, north of the city, police said.
The raids were unrelated to the murder of Detective Constable Stephen Oake, who was fatally stabbed during an anti-terrorist raid in Manchester earlier this month, police said.
Oake, 40, was stabbed to death during a Jan. 14 apartment raid which police said was linked to the Jan. 5 discovery of the deadly poison ricin in a London apartment. Kamel Bourgass, 27, has been charged with his murder.
Police arrested three men during the botched raid. Bourgass allegedly broke free more than an hour after officers first entered the apartment, grabbing a knife and allegedly stabbing Oake to death and injuring four other officers.
A second suspect, Libyan Khalid Alwerfeli, 29, is charged with possession of articles and documents or records for terrorist purposes. The third suspect was handed over to immigration authorities.
Last week, police arrested seven men during an anti-terrorist raid on north London's Finsbury Park mosque, a known center of radical Islam. On Monday, one of the seven, Samir Asli, appeared in court charged under the Terrorism Act. Police have cleared five of the seven arrested of ties to terrorism.
Five North Africans have been charged with chemical weapons offenses over the Jan. 5 ricin find in north London, including 36-year-old Nasreddine Fekhadji, who lived just around the corner from the Finsbury Park mosque.
A 31-year-old North African man, Mouloud Bouhrama, was charged late Tuesday with chemical weapons offenses in connection with the ricin raid. Bouhrama, who was arrested in northeast London last week, was due to appear in court Wednesday.