Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Saturday, 19 April 2008 14:39 UK

Further blasts by Bristol police

Police in Comb Paddock, Westbury-on-Trym
Evacuated residents will likely remain out of their homes until Saturday

Bomb disposal experts in Bristol have carried out a third controlled explosion at the home of a man arrested under the Terrorism Act.

It comes a day after police were granted a further seven days to question Andrew Ibrahim, a 19-year-old British Muslim convert.

A first controlled blast was carried out at the property, in a cul-de-sac in Westbury-on-Trym, on Friday.

A second explosion was carried out earlier on Saturday.

The second and third detonations had originally been intended for Friday evening, but were postponed as officers awaited the delivery of sandbags to minimise the impact of the blast.

About 30 people in 14 homes had to be moved from their properties on Thursday.

Another 40-50 people had to leave their homes temporarily on Saturday morning.

'10 or 12 different bolts'

Mr Ibrahim, who moved into the area three weeks ago, is understood to have recently converted to Islam.

He was arrested on Thursday after covert inquiries prompted by an intelligence tip-off.

Inspector Mark Jackson on keeping the community informed

Police said he lived alone but did not own the house. He had had previous contact with police.

Next-door-neighbour Rachel Clifford told BBC News that she met the suspect only recently, after she knocked on the door to complain about loud, Islamic-sounding music.

She said the man in Islamic dress who answered the door had first had to unlock 10 or 12 different bolts.

"I remember feeling quite unnerved, I just wanted to say my piece and get out of there," she said.

Local Muslim leader Farooq Siddique said Ibrahim was a British Muslim. But he said he was "not known" to Bristol's Muslim community.

He said: "This is obviously a very difficult time for the Muslim community in Bristol. It is a blow to community relationships in the city.

"We want the police to be allowed to do their jobs as simply and as quickly as possible. We need to be united in this."

Container

The first controlled blast, in the early hours of Friday morning, was carried out after a raid on the suspect's home.

Bristol map

Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen, who is leading the operation, told a press conference that a container was removed from the home, covered in sandbags and taken to a safe location before being destroyed.

The materials blown up are to be analysed as part of what police described as a "long and complex" investigation.

Police said it was too early to say whether further arrests would be made.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said Avon and Somerset police were leading the investigation but that officers from Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command had been assisting them.


SEE ALSO
Residents 'shocked' after arrest
18 Apr 08 |  Bristol/Somerset

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