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 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 08:39 GMT
Six questioned in ricin investigation
Dorset Police
Dorset Police worked with the Metropolitan Police
Anti-terrorist police are continuing to question five men and a woman detained after raids on two addresses in Dorset on Sunday.

The arrests followed the discovery of ricin at a flat in London last week.

The five men and a woman are being questioned at police stations in the Bournemouth area.

It follows a joint operation between the Special Operations Unit of the Metropolitan Police and Dorset Police.

Last week the deadly poison ricin was discovered at a flat in Wood Green, London.

Remanded

Police say say no chemicals have been found in the Dorset raids, but have asked the public to remain alert and to contact them if they see anything suspicious.

Meanwhile four people arrested during the London raid were remanded in custody by magistrates on Monday.

Samir Feddag, 26, and his brother Mouloud Feddag, 18, Mustapha Taleb, 33, and a 17-year-old youth, who could not be named for legal reasons, were charged in connection with an alleged plot to use ricin.

Nick Hazleton, chief inspector of Dorset Police, said no chemical materials had been found in connection with the arrests in Bournemouth.

"The public should be alert but not alarmed," he said.

He said the arrests were made under the Terrorism Act 2000 and were part of an ongoing investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Terror charges

The four who were remanded in custody on Monday in London were charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 with "possession of articles of value to a terrorist".

They were also charged under the Chemical Weapons Act 1996 with "being concerned in the development or production of chemical weapons".

Wood Green flat
Seven were arrested at a flat in Wood Green, north London
Mustapha Taleb was also charged with an additional offence under the Terrorism Act dating back to on or before the 26 September 2002.

All the other charges relate to 5 January 2003 when the arrests were made.

Reporting restrictions were imposed by the court, including the ban on naming the 17-year-old or publishing any photographs or pictures that could lead to their identification.

The suspects, two of whom listened to interpreters, spoke only to confirm their names and addresses.

No bail was granted and they are due to appear at the Old Bailey on 17 January.

A fifth man, Nasreddine Fekhadji, was charged with two offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act and is due before the court.

'Sleeper cells'

A sixth man arrested for alleged possession of drugs and immigration matters, and is expected to be bailed to return pending further enquiries.

A seventh man has been released into the custody of the Immigration Service, Scotland Yard confirmed.

The BBC's Frank Gardner said the Dorset operation was the latest in a series of arrests of people who may or not be connected.

"The suspicion is that there are number of sleeper cells operating on both sides of the Channel that have become radicalised and are looking to do some kind of attack," he said.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Frank Gardner
"The arrests are due to unprecedented cooperation between Britain, France and Algeria"
  Chief Supt. Bob Boulton of Dorset Police
"No chemical materials were found"
  The BBC's Neil Bennett
"Police sources are now playing down the significance of the arrests"
See also:

13 Jan 03 | UK
07 Jan 03 | Health
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