A BRITON said to be a key figure in an alleged plot to bomb public buildings in Canada, including the Parliament, was arrested by counter-terrorist police as he stepped off a plane at Manchester airport.
The 21-year-old man had arrived from Canada, where security services claimed that he had been living alongside some of the 17 terror suspects arrested in Toronto at the weekend in one of the biggest operations in North America. Hours later police in West Yorkshire arrested a 16-year-old youth after documents and mobile phone records seized in Canada revealed a British link to the alleged gang of Muslim militants operating from their homes in the Toronto suburbs.
Canadian prosecutors have claimed that the plot involved taking over the Parliament building, holding MPs hostage and beheading Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister. They wanted to force Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
A security source told The Times yesterday: “We believe that people living in the UK played a pivotal role in helping to organise this series of planned attacks.”
The 21-year-old man was seized as he tried to leave the airport on Tuesday night. Scotland Yard officers were also present, but police say that no guns were used.
The suspect was born in Pakistan but is believed to have British citizenship and lived at a number of addresses in Dewsbury, the home town of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers. He is understood to have spent much of this year living in Toronto.