London Police Grill Detainees in Bomb Probe
JACKI LYDEN, host:
British police today are questioning several men they regard as key suspects in the London bombing investigation. Three of the men were arrested yesterday in a series of dramatic raids by anti-terrorist police. A total of 13 people are in custody in connection with the attacks. NPR's Rachel Martin has more on the investigation from London.
RACHEL MARTIN reporting:
London police have been hesitant to directly link four of the men in custody to specific bombing attacks, but British media quoting police sources today credited the police with now holding all of the men who tried to detonate bombs on London's public transit system last week. They're being detained at the high security police station Paddington Green in central London.
Under the Terrorism Act, investigators have 14 days to question the men at which point the men have to be charged or released. The interrogation process must provide for ample food and sleep breaks and the men must be allowed to pray five times a day if they request it.
Two of the key suspects were arrested yesterday when authorities raided a flat in west London. The men were identified as Muktar Said Ibrahim, originally from Eritrea, and Ramzi Mohamed. Mohamed's brother, Wahbi Mohamed, was arrested in the same neighborhood in a separate raid. Forensic experts are still examining several raided properties for evidence.
Meanwhile, another suspect arrested in Italy today appeared before an extradition hearing in Rome. Isaac Hamdi, also apparently known as Osman Hussain, is originally from Ethiopia. Great Britain has asked for his extradition, but Italian authorities say he's being questioned about his possible involvement in planning terrorist attacks in their country and that it could be months before he's returned to Britain.
The investigations into both the July 7th attacks and the attempted bombings last week have proved to be massive operations with police examining more than 8,500 documents and 35,000 closed-circuit television tapes. Police officials say the cost of the operations is nearly a million dollars a day.
While politicians have praised the speed of the investigation, the head of Britain's anti-terrorism unit is cautioning the public not to get complacent. He says the investigation is ongoing and the public can expect to see more high-profile police activity in coming days.
Rachel Martin, NPR News, London.
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