British terror watchdog to probe pope visit arrests

The British government`s terrorism legislation watchdog is to probe the arrests of six men over an alleged threat to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain, the interior minister said.

Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 16:06 PM IST

London: The British government`s terrorism
legislation watchdog is to probe the arrests of six men over
an alleged threat to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to
Britain, the interior minister said today.

Police swooped on the men, who were employed as street
cleaners in the central London district of Westminster, in
armed raids during the state visit in September.

They were all later released without charge and police
sources said they had posed no "credible" threat.

Police searches of eight homes and two business
premises in London failed to uncover any weapons or suspicious
materials.

London`s Metropolitan Police refused at the time to
confirm reports that the men had been arrested after they were
overheard joking about attacking the pope as they took a break
in their canteen.

Home Secretary Theresa May, the interior minister,
said the outgoing independent reviewer of terror laws, Alex
Carlile, would conduct a "brief review" of the arrests.

PTI