Massive Attack Leader Questioned By Police; Denies Viewing Child Porn

Unnamed 'class A' drugs also seized in raid on his apartment.

Amidst a continuing international crackdown on child pornography, Massive Attack leader Robert "3D" Del Naja was detained and questioned by British police for six hours on Tuesday. Del Naja, 36, was arrested and his computer seized, along with an unspecified amount of illicit drugs during a raid.

After posting bail, the Del Naja denied viewing child pornography, saying in a statement, "I have never looked at child pornography in my life. I am fully cooperating with the police. I have total faith in the justice system. I abhor child pornography and child abuse in all its forms."

While, because of British law, police did not name Del Naja as the person arrested, nor did it specify that the pornography was child-related, a media relations spokesperson for the Avon and Somerset Constabulary confirmed in a statement that, "A man in his 30s from Bristol, [England,] was arrested in connection with allegations of the possession of class A drugs and Internet porn offences." Under British law, suspects under arrest are not immediately charged, and some are released with no charge.

Police also did not specify what drugs were confiscated in the raid, but illicit substances classified as class A in England include ecstasy, cocaine, methadone, heroin and LSD.

Del Naja is out on bail pending further inquiries, said Avon and Somerset spokesperson Wayne Baker, who added that he was not aware of any connection between Del Naja's arrest and that of Who guitarist Pete Townshend. The Who leader was similarly questioned in early January after admitting to viewing child pornography while doing research for his autobiography (see "Pete Townshend Arrested In Child Porn Investigation").

At the time of his arrest and questioning, Townshend said, "I do not want child pornography to be available on the Internet anywhere at any time." Townshend was nabbed as part of Operation Ore, a British child pornography investigation that has resulted in the arrest of more than 1,300 people in England, including teachers, judges, doctors, care workers, soldiers and over 50 cops, according to the U.K. newspaper The Guardian (see "Pete Townshend Released On Bail, Expected To Undergo Further Questioning").

Operation Ore is the English response to Operation Avalanche, a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on over 250,000 suspected pedophiles around the world. That investigation was launched almost a year ago, and targeted subscribers to the world's largest Internet child porn network, which was run by a Texas couple who were jailed last year. Baker would not comment on whether Del Naja’s arrest was part of Operation Ore.

The arrest of outspoken anti-war and anti-nuclear protester Del Naja comes on the heels of the release of Massive Attack’s fourth album, 100th Window, which debuted at #1 in the U.K. The group is scheduled to begin a tour of Australia and New Zealand on March 7; it is unknown how, or if, the arrest will affect the tour schedule.