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Bolton MP calls for calm after arrest of terror suspect
Why would he think there might be unrest? The indigenous population of Bolton don't react so.
From This is Lancashire.
A BOLTON MP last night called for calm in the town following the arrest of a 62-year-old man on suspicion of terror offences.
Dr Brian Iddon said he learned of tensions within the muslim community following the raid on a house in Deane on Monday.
Asif Farooqui, of Willows Lane, was one of five men taken into custody by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.
They are being questioned by officers at separate police stations across Greater Manchester.
Dr Iddon, who is Mr Farooqui’s MP, said: “There already are increased tensions. I am getting reports from the community that people are not happy. I would ask everyone to remain calm".
Police said there was no imminent terrorist danger to the Greater Manchester area and the arrests were related to an alleged overseas threat.
Officers continued to search Mr Farooqui’s house yesterday — removing items in sealed plastic bags — as more details about his background emerged.
He is thought to be a Sunni Muslim of Pakistani origin, and a well respected spiritual leader with about 2,000 followers across the UK.
His beliefs, according to a senior figure at a mosque he used to run, are strict but peaceful.
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said Mr Farooqui believes that TV is sinful, that Muslims should wear traditional salwar kameez robes and that women should cover their faces with a veil.
He regularly leads prayers at the Khankah Naqashbandia mosque, in Manchester, and his followers are sometimes nicknamed “the turban people”. One acquaintance said: “He is a nice, gentle fellow — a religious person. His arrest was a surprise. He is the leader of quite a few people and they are not happy about what has happened.”
Bolton Chief Supt Steve Hartley said yesterday: “Officers are keeping the community updated with information, through briefings and a letter, which includes a local contact to discuss any issues.”
Yesterday the local paper reported this:-
A PETITION calling for Asif Farooqui’s immediate release has been set up at the Al Rahman Mosque, in Randal Street, Daubhill, where he is a member.
And a sign at the mosque entrance urges his fellow worshippers to pledge their support.
The message, written on a blackboard inside the mosque, said Mr Farooqui was “highly respected” and called on the authorities to release him “without delay”.
The rest of Mr Farooqui’s family left the house, where they have lived for about 10 years, early yesterday morning, of their own accord.
Yasmin Wazir, aged 23, lives opposite the family. She said: “They are just a normal family, very quiet.
“The first I knew about it was when I got up. I was going to drop my mum off and saw all the police outside. They are a very respectable family.”
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “There were a lot of officers. Fortunately they didn’t knock the door down or anything. I woke at 4.30am. I heard the banging. I just looked out the window and found this was going on. I hope they have got it wrong. He is a family man. He is a really nice, quiet guy.”
Osama bin Laden has a large family and is highly respected among his own. What has that got to do with the price of fish?
According toThe Sun one of the other men arrested is an English convert.
CELEBRITY Big Brother winner Bez was shocked last night after a family pal was arrested in a TERROR swoop.
Matthew Newton, 27, and four others were held over an alleged plot to recruit Brits for Taliban training camps in Afghanistan. Newton - who converted to Islam two years ago - once ran trendy T-shirt firm Masti with Bez's son, Arlo. Arlo, 18, told The Sun last night: "It's shocking for me and my dad. Matt's a top geezer"
Newton is pictured with Happy Mondays legend Bez, 45, on his Facebook page clean-shaven and in Western clothes. But a later photo shows him in a beard and Muslim garb.
Newton of Stalybridge, Manchester, and four men aged 21 to 67 were arrested across the North West on Monday.