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Terror plot investigators find martyr videos on suspects’ laptops

Daily Staff Report

LONDON – Several martyr videos were reportedly discovered on at least six laptops owned by some of the 23 suspects being questioned in the foiled terror plot to bomb as many as 10 jetliners bound for the United States.The British Broadcasting Corp., citing an unofficial police source, said Friday that several videos of the type that suicide bombers sometimes leave had been found as part of the intense investigation into the alleged plot.Scotland Yard did not comment on the report which came after police chiefs said that hundreds of officers from across Britain joined in the massive investigation, one of the largest in British history.Last week, a U.S. law enforcement official said one “martyrdom” tape had been found by investigators.Staff from nearly every police force in the country are working on the case, and dozens of specialist teams are continuing sweeps of homes, businesses and a stretch of dense woodland thought to hold clues in the alleged conspiracy to detonate liquid explosives aboard the planes, police said.Officers using climbing ropes probed a canopy of trees in High Wycombe, 30 miles northwest of London, while others conducted fingertip sweeps of the forest floor for traces of explosives.Police have carried out searches of around 50 locations in London, High Wycombe and Birmingham, central England, and are continuing work at 14 sites.London’s Scotland Yard has refused to comment on claims that a suitcase containing bomb-making equipment, firearms and a cache of chemicals have been unearthed in the strip of woodland.The BBC on Thursday quoted an anonymous police source as saying a suitcase holding “everything you would need to make an improvised device” had been uncovered in High Wycombe.Police have declined to release details of items recovered during eight days of investigations, but Interior Minister John Reid told his European counterparts that evidence is mounting against 23 suspects rounded up in a series of pre-dawn raids on Aug. 10.Several hundred police are staffing the inquiry, one of the largest ever carried out by British police, including dozens of officers from Britain’s 41 police forces based outside London.Britain’s domestic spy agency, MI5, is also continuing investigations, but has refused to disclose the nature of its inquiries, said a spokeswoman for Britain’s Home Office, responsible for intelligence and counterterrorism.On Friday, squads of officers fanned out in long lines across the High Wycombe woodland, gingerly combing the earth in a search for items.A police helicopter hovered over the area, circling the Islamic Learning Center, a mosque which local residents said was used by three men arrested last week.Officers have until Monday to question two suspects, and until Wednesday to interview 21 others.—Associated Press Writer Katie Fretland, in High Wycombe, England, contributed to this report.


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