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'Pope terror plot' cleaners accuse police over arrests

PUBLISHED: 15:58 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

A STREET cleaner from Archway was among six Arab Muslims wrongly held on suspicion of hatching a plot to kill the Pope. At least five of the men are now considering taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police – and are enlisting the help of the Ar

A STREET cleaner from Archway was among six Arab Muslims wrongly held on suspicion of hatching a plot to kill the Pope. At least five of the men are now considering taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police - and are enlisting the help of the Arab Advice Bureau in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park.

The first five men, Algerian cleaners aged 26, 27, 36, 40, and 50, were arrested by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism as they arrived at a depot in Paddington at 5.45am on Friday. The sixth, a 29-year-old Sudanese man, was picked up at a north London address at 1.45pm. They were all released without charge on Saturday and Sunday.

Mohamed Nacer, director of the Arab Advice Bureau, believes the men were victims of prejudice - insisting that there was no substance to the suggestion that they had been involved in a bomb plot against the Pope.

Mr Nacer said: "While the community is working hard towards reducing hatred, discrimination, preventing violent extremism and anti-social behaviour, these wrongful arrests are increasing hatred within Algerian community."

A police spokesman said: "Six men who were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Friday were all released without charge late on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.


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