London, Apr 9 (ANI): The British Police have arrested 12 people including 10 Pakistanis, on suspicion of having links with al Qaeda's terror network in northwest England, the police said on Wednesday.
The suspects were held in daylight raids in Manchester, Liverpool and Clitheroe, Lancs. Sources said that the suspects had been under surveillance by MI5 for several weeks, and officers had not been due to move in on their targets until the early hours of this morning.
Eyewitnesses said two students in their early 20s, thought to be of Pakistani origin, were tasered then pinned to the floor.
The young men, one bearded and one clean-shaven, were taken away for questioning. Student Sian Hill said: "Suddenly all these men rushed towards us yelling: 'Look at the floor! Look at the floor!'"
"I didn't know what was going on. One of the police opened the door and pushed me inside. The two men they arrested were really quite calm. They did what they were told and laid on the floor," Hill said
The raids had to be brought forward after the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, Bob Quick, unwittingly displayed a document outlining the plans as he arrived to brief Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith at 10 Downing Street.
Quick, head of Scotland Yard's specialist operations wing, was pictured with sensitive documents going to Downing Street. Details of a major on-going anti-terror operation could be read.
Fears were growing over a bomb threat to last night's Euro cup clash as police foiled a "major" terrorist attack, the Daily Star reported.
Senior detectives said they were responding to a "imminent and credible" threat of an atrocity by an al Qaida-linked group.
The arrests came as 45,000 football fans converged on Anfield for Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final clash with Chelsea. There is no immediate suggestion the stadium was the target but one of the raids was just three miles away. (ANI)