August 27, 2008 / 9:13 AM / 11 years ago

Arrests made over Brown death threats

Prime Minister Gordon Brown stands on the steps of 10 Downing Street, July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Police investigating alleged death threats against Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday they had arrested two men on suspicion of terrorism.

The men, aged 29 and 25, were arrested separately on Tuesday, Manchester police said. Another three men were arrested at Manchester Airport on August 14.

“Five people remain in police custody as part of the investigation,” a police statement said.

Media reports have said police investigations concern threats posted on a Jihadi website in January by a group calling itself al-Qaeda in Britain to mount suicide attacks on Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair unless Britain withdraws its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. It also demanded the release of Muslims imprisoned in Britain.

The posting appeared on www.alekhlaas.net, a site which hosts a catalogue of Islamist messages, musings and writings and has been visited by more than 17 million people.

A security source told Reuters at the time it was regarded as typical and relatively low-level militant background noise.

Britain has been attacked by Islamist militants since it joined the United States in invading Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

In July 2005, Islamist suicide bombers killed 52 people in coordinated attacks on London’s transport system. Several other alleged plots have failed or been uncovered by police, including attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow last June.

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Reporting by Kate Kelland and Tim Castle; Editing by Catherine Evans

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