White Muslim convert arrested over ‘Gordon Brown assassination plot’
The 25-year-old man was arrested at a flat in the Whalley Range area of Blackburn, Lancs, shortly before 7am on Tuesday.
He is believed to be a friend of two other men arrested by counter-terrorism officers at Manchester Airport on August 14.
The pair, who had been about to board a flight to Finland, live less than 100 yards from the home of the suspect held on Tuesday.
A fourth suspect, also from Blackburn, was arrested in Church, near Accrington, shortly after the arrests at Manchester Airport.
All four men are being questioned about a posting on an Arabic website that often carries messages from senior members of al-Qaeda.
The message, written in English, allegedly included a threat to target “all the political leaders, especially Tony Blair and Gordan (sic) Brown”.
It appeared only briefly on January 24 and purported to have been written by Shaykh Umar Rabie al-Khalaila, who described himself as “the leader of al-Qaeda in Britain”.
The latest man to be arrested changed his name when he converted to Islam four years ago.
A friend, who asked not to be named, said he was surprised by his arrest.
“He is a good lad,” said the 25-year-old businessman. “I used to see him at the mosque and he doesn’t have extreme views”.
The three men arrested on August 14 are being held in Manchester. Counter-terrorism officers have until Thursday to decide whether to charge them, release them or seek an extension to their custody.
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