UK

Counter-Terror Make Two More Arrests Stopping Car On The M6

26/09/2014 11:06 BST | Updated 26/09/2014 11:59 BST
Matt Naylor via Getty Images

Counter-terror police have made more arrests during a motorway swoop as part of an investigation into alleged support of banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun.

Two men, aged 33 and 42, were stopped and detained near junction 1 of the M6, just outside Rugby in Warwickshire, in the early hours, Scotland Yard said.

A total of 11 men have now been arrested under the probe, including radical preacher Anjem Choudary, who was one of nine held across London yesterday.

In the most recent arrests, the 33-year-old was detained on suspicion of being a member of, or supporting, a banned organisation, and of encouraging terrorism, while the second man, 42, was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Both are being held in custody at a police station in central London.

The arrests come as MPs prepare to vote on whether to join air strikes in Iraq.

Lawyer-turned-preacher Choudary was detained shortly after firing off a series of anti-Western messages at 5am on social-networking site Twitter, including claims that the definition of terrorism is ''more suitable for the US/UK policy in Muslim lands''.

Sweet shop Yummy Yummy, owned by Choudary's brother Yadzani, in Whitechapel, east London, was one of 18 properties searched across the capital, while another address in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was also raided. Searches are continuing.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Choudary said he has no sympathy for Alan Henning, a volunteer aid worker who was captured in Syria by Islamic State militants.

IS threatened to behead the 47-year-old in a video released earlier this month, which showed the murder of another British man, David Haines.

Choudary, who co-founded the now-banned group al-Muhajiroun, is reported to have said: ''In the Koran it is not allowed for you to feel sorry for non-Muslims. I don't feel sorry for him.''

He has also had contact with a number of worshippers who have later gone on to be convicted of terrorism.

Fanatics Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who were both jailed earlier this year for the brutal slaying of Fusilier Lee Rigby, were both seen at demonstrations organised by al-Muhajiroun.

Choudary said he knew Adebolajo, who was pictured beside him at a rally in 2007, and the second founder of the group, Omar Bakri Mohammed, claimed that he had spoken to the future killer at meetings.

Al-Muhajiroun, which has changed names a number of times, was banned in the UK in 2010, and a study suggested that in the preceding 12 years 18% of Islamic extremists convicted of terror offences in the UK had current or former links with it.