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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 15:35 GMT
Police question terror suspect
Sajid Badat
Sajid Badat studied in Blackburn, Lancashire
Police are continuing to question a Gloucester being held under anti-terrorism legislation.

Sajid Badat, 24, a British man of Pakistani origin, was arrested on Thursday under the Terrorism Act and taken to London for questioning.

Scotland Yard said a "relatively small amount" of explosive materials had been removed from his house.

Police also searched a nearby flat on Friday, but no arrests were made there and the street was not sealed off.

Gloucestershire Police Inspector David Peake said no explosives and "nothing significant" had been found at the second address - a flat above a shop on Barton Street - but the property was being checked over by forensic experts.

Mr Badat's house in nearby St James Street was also still being searched on Friday.

London move

Mr Peake said the other occupants were now in a "safe house" away from their home, which was still being looked at by forensic experts.

Mr Badat is being questioned at the high-security Paddington Green police station in west London.

Residents of 119 homes were evacuated on Thursday as police searched Mr Badat's house. They returned home on Thursday night and the street remained open on Friday.

He had come with a mindset which he had previously developed
Ibrahim Master
Lancashire Council of Mosques

Officers have dismissed as "pure speculation" reports that a suicide attack was being planned on a football stadium.

Mr Badat had been under surveillance by the police and the security service MI5.

The arrest came as part of a joint anti-terrorism operation between the Metropolitan and Gloucestershire police forces.

Whitehall sources confirmed they had been checking on possible links he has with "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who was sentenced to life for trying to blow up a US passenger plane.

Police also searched two addresses in Blackburn as part of the operation. One was the College of Islamic Knowledge and Guidance, where Mr Badat used to study.

'Walking angel'

Ibrahim Master, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said religious leaders had been "fully co-operative" in the search.

"Islam prohibits the loss of innocent lives and as such we condemn all acts of terrorism, whether it's here in the UK or anywhere else in the world," he added.

The Islamic Centre of Knowledge and Guidance in Blackburn, Lancashire
Police searched a mosque where Mr Badat used to study
A 39-year-old man was also taken into custody in Manchester in a separate anti-terror investigation.

Neighbours spoke of their shock to discover Mr Badat was the man arrested in Gloucester.

The owners of nearby Bismallah Butchers said Mr Badat he was a good Muslim man, extremely bright, mad on football and a "walking angel".

Thursday's arrests came a week after double suicide bombings in Istanbul in which at least 28 people died.

The BBC's Peter Lane
"The home of the twenty four year old is still being guarded"

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