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US, Britain, Pakistan Investigate Alleged Terror Plot

  • VOA News

Authorities in Britain and Pakistan are focusing their attention on two brothers in the investigation of an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound flights from Britain.

One brother, Rashid Rauf, is under arrest in Pakistan. Authorities there say he is a key figure in the investigation with links to al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

The other brother, Tayib Rauf, is among 23 Britons of Pakistani descent being held in Britain.

The terror investigation gained worldwide attention Thursday after British authorities announced arrests in London. That coincided with stringent, new security procedures at airports that threw international travel into disarray.

British and Pakistani officials say the alleged plot involved plans to detonate liquid explosives aboard as many as 10 airliners. Investigators say police began rounding up suspects after someone in Pakistan called conspirators in Britain and urged them to immediately carry out their plan.

Britain's investigation involves the search for possible links to the sucide bombing attacks in London that killed 52 people and wounded hundreds of others in July 2005.

In the United States, the FBI is looking for possible U.S. ties to the alleged conspiracy. Five years ago on September 11th, 2001 terrorists hijacked four U.S. airliners and killed nearly three thousand people.

A coalition of British Muslim groups and politicians said on Saturday that Britain's foreign policy on Iraq and Lebanon is fueling extremism that threatens all civilians. In an open letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the coalition urged the government to do more to fight terrorism, while taking care not to target innocent civilians.

The British government rejected the accusation.

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