Roger Whittaker

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The Birmingham "beheading plot"

Thursday 8th February 2007

Police investigating the alleged terrorist plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier in Birmingham have accused the UK government of exploiting their operation to divert the press away from the current investigation into the "cash for honours" scandal that has seen British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, interviewed twice by police.

Whitehall officials briefed journalists early on Wednesday before all of the suspects had been found, with the result that lurid details of the alleged plot were broadcast while one suspect remained at large.

At least one tabloid newspaper had even been tipped off the night before the dawn raids, and its reporters put on standby to race to Birmingham. Read more in this "New Criminologist" story.

Now two of the suspects have been released and according to this Times story:

said they left custody today "without any better understanding of why they were there than when they first arrived".

"They have left the police station without any better understanding of why they were there than when they first arrived seven days ago," Ms Peirce said.

"Not a word was ever mentioned to either of them about a plot to kidnap or the grisly suggestion of a beheading or even of a soldier at all.

"Both have been met with a consistent refusal over seven days for any explanation for their arrest.

So I'm afraid this looks like just another staged "media event", like the "liquid bomb plot" and the Forest Gate raid.

See also: