Osama bin Laden planned Manchester Easter bomb plot

British police had arrested a group of Pakistani students over the plot.

Updated: May 21, 2011, 16:04 PM IST

London: Osama bin Laden was directly linked to a terrorist cell in Manchester that plotted to bomb Easter shoppers in 2009, documents seized by US Special Forces from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in Pakistan have revealed.

British counter-terrorism police had arrested a group of Pakistani students over the plot, but were unable to press charges because of a lack of evidence. The British Government’s plan to deport the alleged ringleader of the plot also failed on grounds of human rights violation, because he claimed he would be tortured if he was sent back to Pakistan.

Most of the alleged cell members have now left Britain.

The latest information contained in computer files seized by US Special Forces from bin Laden’s compound have been passed on to MI5, and have also been discussed by the Prime Minister David Cameron’s national security team, The Telegraph reports.

Reports suggested that US President Barack Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Cameron next week could reveal more information on the issue.

A Government source said MI5 is anxious to send people to America to receive a full briefing on bin Laden’s documents.

“The issue is expected to come up next week. In the past, we have had fleeting glimpses of al Qaeda. But, if what we are already starting to see continues, it appears that the bin Laden files really will give us a comprehensive insight into the whole organisation and its operations,” he added.