LONDON, AP – British police said Sunday they arrested a suspect in connection with the July 7 bombings after a man reportedly told a newspaper he had been asked to join the suicide attackers who carried out the blasts.
London”s Metropolitan Police said anti-terrorist officers arrested a 27-year-old man in the Dewsbury area of West Yorkshire late Saturday. He was arrested on suspicion of the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism," a police spokesman said.
He said the arrest was in connection with the investigation into the July 7 bombings that killed 52 commuters and four suicide attackers, and followed a report in the News of the World tabloid newspaper. He spoke on condition of anonymity, as is customary with British police officials.
The spokesman added that officers had searched two addresses in the Dewsbury area, which was the home of suspected suicide bomber Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30. The suspect, who was not identified, was being questioned at a police station in the West Yorkshire area, he said.
The News of the World reported Sunday that a British Muslim, Imran Patel, told the paper that Khan had asked him to join the bombing mission. Patel reportedly said he decided not join the bombing team after it suggested attacking a school where children would be the victims.
Patel also told the paper that he would never attack a target in Britain but would willingly do so abroad. He said he has a young Muslim friend who is close to launching an atrocity in Britain, the paper reported.
Patel agreed to speak to the News of the World to make people "understand that Jihad is valid," the paper reported. Jihad is an Arabic word that refers to the Islamic struggle to do good. Many extremist Muslims use it to refer to Holy War.
"We thank the News of the World for drawing the matter to our attention and material passed to the police by the newspaper is being assessed by the Anti-Terrorist Branch," the Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
Police have not charged anyone in connection with the July 7 attacks.