British police arrest Pakistani man on US terror charges

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British police on Wednesday arrested a Pakistani man suspected of being an Al-Qaeda operative in northeastern England after US authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.

Abid Naseer, 24, is sought by the United States on charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, conspiring to provide material support, and conspiracy to use a destructive device.

He was arrested by British counter-terrorism police last year on suspicion of plotting mass casualty attacks in England and of being an operative of Al-Qaeda, although he was never charged.

The British government subsequently tried to deport him but while an immigration court acknowledged he was "an Al-Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat", it ruled his safety could not be guaranteed in Pakistan.

Naseer was due to appear in court later Wednesday in connection with the US arrest warrant, police said.

"Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's extradition unit and the North East counter terrorism unit have this afternoon, Wednesday 7 July, arrested a man in the north east of England," they said in a statement.

"Abid Naseer, 24, has been arrested in the United Kingdom pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued on July 7, 2010, at the request of the United States government."

© 2010 AFP

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