Students Among Suspects Held In Connection With U.K. Terrorism Plot

Youngest suspect in plot targeting U.S.-bound flights is 17 years old.

One day after British police thwarted a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives aboard aircraft bound for the U.S., the arrest count has grown to 24 and the names of some suspects have been revealed, but many questions still remain.

Early Friday morning (August 11), the Bank of England froze the assets of 19 men arrested in connection with the terror plan (see "British Authorities Foil Plot To Bomb U.K.-To-U.S. Flights"). Reports identified suspects ranging in age from 17-35, including Ibrahim Savant, a 25-year-old taxi driver from London; Waheed Zaman, a 22-year-old biochemistry student at London Metropolitan University; and Adbul Muneem Patel, a 17-year-old student.

The addresses of the men revealed that many of them lived in the London suburbs of Walthamstow and High Wycombe, leading to an increased concern over "homegrown" terrorism.

In the wake of the arrests, British police continued to search residences and businesses in the communities for clues, while British Home Secretary John Reid insisted that the main suspects were in custody and that the police action was merely a cautionary move.

Meanwhile, officials in Pakistan announced they had made "a number" of arrests in connection with the plot, including two British citizens of Pakistani descent.

Officials in the U.S. continued to remain tight-lipped about whether any of the men arrested had links to al Qaeda, though FBI director Robert S. Mueller III did say that the scope and targets of the plot did point toward the terrorist organization.

London's Heathrow Airport — shut down for most of Thursday — was running at 75 percent capacity on Friday morning, though security remained tight. And airports around the world remained on high alert, though early reports indicate that travelers are quickly adapting to new security procedures (see "Strict New Airline Security Measures Implemented In Wake Of Terror Scare"), meaning lines at security checkpoints were moving quickly.

The U.K. threat level remained at "critical," while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security maintained a Code Red — or "severe" — threat index for flights originating in the U.K.

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