Saturday, August 12, 2006

Terror roundup widens
By Al Webb
August 12, 2006

LONDON -- Arrests of young Muslims in a terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound passenger jets soared yesterday, with Pakistan and Italy rounding up dozens of suspects. Britain froze bank accounts of 19 of 24 persons arrested a day earlier.

Pakistan said it was holding Rashid Rauf, a 35-year-old Briton with links to al Qaeda, whom it identified as operations manager of plans to destroy up to 10 planes crossing the Atlantic at the height of tourist season.

Links to Italy were less clear, where police raided Internet cafes, money-transfer offices and long-distance phone call centers catering to Muslims and arrested 40 persons.

The arrests in Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Naples and other cities were "part of an extraordinary operation that followed the British anti-terrorist operation," the Interior Ministry said.
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