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Armed police police stop a coach on the motorway in the West Midlands.

Armed police police stop a coach on the motorway in the West Midlands. | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

The M6 Toll motorway has been closed after armed counter-terrorism police stopped a coach in the West Midlands.

Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the passengers had been removed and the vehicle was being searched.

The Highways Agency confirmed that the motorway had been closed in both directions following a "police-led" incident.

The operation came just hours after a reportedly unrelated operation in which five men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

The six suspects - aged between 18 and 30 - were arrested by armed police in pre-planned operation at locations across London and taken to a police station in the south-east of the capital where they remain in custody.

A 24-year-old man was tasered during his arrest at a house in east London but did not require hospital treatment, police said.

Brunt said: Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit had been watching these people for some time, perhaps several weeks.

"I am being told at the moment that there is no suggestion that whatever this plot was, and it was a plot to cause explosions or bombs of some description, the Olympic Games don't appear to have been the target."

He added that Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5, said in a speech a week ago "there are lots of plots going on, being discussed on the streets of Britain".

"He made it quite clear that there is continuing concern that there a lot of people who are thinking about, or plotting terrorist attacks in the UK. He also made the point that there is a new wave of British men that is travelling to terrorist training camps in the Middle East."

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Searches under the Terrorism Act 2000 are being carried out at eight residential premises in east, west and north London and one business premises in east London.

"Public safety remains our overriding concern."

 

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Privacy row as Met Police take call, text email and data from ALL suspects' mobile phones regardless of whether they are charged

Privacy row as Met Police take call, text email and data from ALL suspects' mobile phones regardless of whether they are charged | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

A new privacy row has engulfed the Met Police after it unveiled a device to copy and store data from the mobile phones of suspects held in custody – whether charges are brought or not.


Detectives will be able to access details of contacts, call history and texts, within minutes after plugging the phone into a device being used in 16 London boroughs.
But the technology, which could soon be used by police across the entire country, has sparked concern from civil rights groups who have threatened to challenge it under human rights law.

They fear innocent members of the public could find private information taken and stored indefinitely.

A Met Police spokesman confirmed: 'Data recovered from the devices is retained and handled by the MPS. This is the case whether the holder of a telephone is charged, bailed, or released with no further action.'
Police have faced fury in previous years from politicians and privacy campaigners over attempts to store the DNA of not just criminals, but suspects AND even just witnesses on a national database.
Eventually, in November 2008 police forces were told by the European Court it was unlawful to store indefinitely DNA samples from people who were later cleared.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘The courts have clearly said indefinitely retaining personal information is not acceptable and it appears the Met are flagrantly disregarding the law with this technology.
‘Where someone is not convicted of a crime it is absolutely wrong for the police to hang onto the contents of their phone.
'We have written to the Information Commissioner to ask him to urgently investigate this system and whether it breaches UK law.
‘It is simply unacceptable for the police to introduce a back-door surveillance scheme so they can store details of the private communications of people never convicted of a crime.’

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh praised the data harvesting ACESO kiosk as a key instrument in fighting crime.
He said: ‘Mobile phones and other devices are increasingly being used in all levels of criminal activity.
‘When a suspect is arrested and found with a mobile phone that we suspect may have been used in crime, traditionally we submit it to our digital forensic laboratory for analysis.
'Therefore, a solution located within the Boroughs that enables trained officers to examine devices and gives immediate access to the data in that handset is welcomed.
‘Our ability to act on forensically-sound, time-critical information, from SMS to images contained on a device quickly gives us an advantage in combating crime, notably in terms of identifying people of interest quickly and progressing cases more efficiently.’

The cost for leasing 16 units from mobile forensic firm Radio Tactics Limited for 12 months and training to 320 officers is £50,000.
Previously officers had to send mobiles off for forensic examination in order to gather and store data, a process which took several weeks.
Under the new system, content will be extracted using purpose built terminals in police stations.
It will allow officers to connect a suspect's mobile and produce a print out of data from the device, as well as saving digital records of the content.
'We are looking at a possible breach of human rights law,’
Privacy International's Emma Draper told the BBC.
‘It is illegal to indefinitely retain the DNA profiles of individuals after they are acquitted or released without charge, and the communications, photos and location data contained in most people's smartphones is at least as valuable and as personal as DNA.’
Ms Draper added that while the Met's current plans were limited to fixed extraction terminals in stations, portable technology was readily available.
‘Examining suspects' mobile phones after they are arrested is one thing, but if this technology was to be taken out onto the streets and used in stop-and-searches, that would be a significant and disturbing expansion of police powers.’
A Met Police spokesman said: 'The recovered data may also support investigations by opening alternate lines of enquiry or providing an indication of evidential content for inclusion in the charging decision' adding that the information retrieved would be done in accordance with other data and information held by the.
But he said: 'There will be a robust evaluation of the policing benefits over the course of the project. If, the evaluation is successful this capability will be expanded across the MPS.

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British Muslims 'Seeking Jihadi Training Abroad'

British Muslims 'Seeking Jihadi Training Abroad' | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

The head of MI5 has warned that young British men are heading to new terror training grounds in North Africa and the Middle East.
Arab Spring revolutions in Libya, Syria and Egypt have created unstable areas where al Qaeda can thrive, said Jonathan Evans, director-general of the security service.
The terror group is establishing itself in those countries after being disrupted in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said.
"A small number of British would-be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen.
"Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse as events unfold."
Mr Evans' warning came in a speech entitled 'The Olympics and Beyond', the inaugural Lord Mayor's defence and security lecture in the City of London.
He has cancelled all leave for his staff in the run-up to the London Olympics and made the Games security operation a priority.
He said: "The Games present an attractive target for our enemies and they will be at the centre of the world's attention in a month or so.
"No doubt some terrorist networks have thought about whether they could pull off an attack.
"But the Games are not an easy target and the fact that we have disrrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target for terrorism."
He warned that the death of Osama bin Laden and the disruption of al Qaeda did not mean the British terror threat had evaporated.
He said: "In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here."
There have been 43 potential terror plots or serious incidents in the UK since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, according to the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think tank.
The MI5 chief also highlighted the extent of the new threat to cyber security to business and government.
He said: "Vulnerabilities in the internet are being exploited aggressively not just by criminals, but also by states.
"And the extent of what is going on is astonishing - with industrial-scale processes involving many thousands of people lying behind both state-sponsored cyber espionage and organised cybe crime."
Mr Evans also warned there were concerns over developments in Iran and the uncertainty over its nuclear intentions.
Recent terror attacks on its enemies' interests abroad raised the spectre of a similar threat to the UK, he said.

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Al-Qaeda commander's guide to beating MI5

Al-Qaeda commander's guide to beating MI5 | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
The al-Qaeda commander behind the July 7 and July 21 bombings has boasted about how the terrorists attempted to outwit the security services and described the filming of their suicide videos.

 

In a secret document called “Lessons Learned from Previous Operations” Rashid Rauf tells his comrades in al-Qaeda how he managed to pull off the attacks and what went wrong.


The document, reported in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, also reveals that the 7/7 bombers had considered attacking the Bank of England instead of the London Underground.


In further details, reported by CNN, the commander of the plot, who was originally from Birmingham, describes how he first met the July 7 bombers Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer in Pakistan in November 2004.


Their associates – who plotted to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre with a fertilizer bomb - had been arrested the previous March and the July 7 pair had been caught in the MI5 surveillance operation.


Rauf said that at the time Sidique Khan and Tanweer expected to be arrested at any moment because they assumed the police knew about their involvement in the plot.

 

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/9238973/Al-Qaeda-commanders-guide-to-beating-MI5.html

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