Counter-Terrorism detectives have been questioning alleged Algerian Islamic extremists in the Midlands after fears that the hostage crisis may have been planned and directed from abroad.
Special Branch officers from Scotland Yard’s elite SO13 unit are in Birmingham and Leicester in an effort to track down alleged militants with links to an Al Qaida-affiliated group which attacked the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, killing four British hostages.
Detectives have already questioned a number of men in the region who have previously been under surveillance.
The secret raids centred on addresses in Birmingham and Leicester as the security services executed a shakedown of known extremists.
Detectives are particularly keen to trace an Algerian suspect, who was believed to be living in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, and is alleged to be a high ranking member of Tafkir-Wal-Hijra, which is associated with Al Qaida.