By TARIQ PANJA Associated Press Writer
Authorities questioned three British men at a high-security police station Friday after their arrest on suspicion of assisting in the 2005 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters.
Metropolitan police officers divert commuters and traffic from Tottenham Court Road after the tube networks plunged into chaos with some stations cleared after attempted bombings in London,July 21, 2005. Prime Minister Tony Blair appealed for calm and London's police commissioner confirmed Thursday there were four attempted explosions in the city. (AP Photo/Sergio Dionisio)
It was the first major development in the investigation in months, but detectives insisted exhaustive work has continued quietly for the last two years.
Two men were arrested Thursday as they attempted to board a flight to Islamabad, Pakistan, while the third was arrested in Leeds in northern England.
All three men were arrested on suspicion of committing, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism. "We need to know who else, apart from the bombers, knew what they were planning. Did anyone encourage them? Did anyone help them with money, or accommodation?" a police statement said.
A government account of the attacks released last year said it was unclear whether others in Britain had radicalized or incited the group, and that it was not known if al-Qaida figures, or others, had assisted in planning the bombing.
None of the men arrested Thursday have been identified. The two arrested at Manchester Airport were 23 and 30; the third arrested in Leeds was 26.
Under British law, police have up to 28 days to question the three suspects—with the consent of a judge—before they must be charged or released.
Following the July 7th bomb attacks, Counter Terrorism Police increased security checking of passengers and their luggage as security alerts have increased around London.(AP Photo/Sergio Dionisio)
No one has ever been charged over the July 7, 2005, attack, which targeted three subway cars and a
bus, killing 52 people and wounding around 700. They were the first suicide bombings on European soil.
Only two other men have been arrested in the case, in 2005—one of them was released without charge and the other was charged with wasting the time of police.
Associated Press Writer David Stringer in London contributed to this report