Less than three weeks before the Olympic Games
open in London, a 24-year-old al-Qaeda suspect has been arrested at the Olympic Park, The Telegraph reported Sunday.
The Somalia-born man was caught crossing through the park five times, breaking a ban imposed by the Home Secretary. British intelligence agency MI5 believes he was planning to carry out a suicide bombing and had tried to recruit other Britons to the cause.
His lawyers said he had been travelling to attend legal meetings at his solicitors’ office in Stratford, according to The Telegraph. The suspect has been released on bail and is due to be prosecuted later this year.
He is one of nine suspected risks to Britain's national security who are subject to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures - legal orders which restrict their movements and computer use and who they can meet.
He was arrested last month for breaking the ban and using the London Overground rail route which passes through the centre of the Olympic Park. His presence in the banned zone was discovered because of an electronic tag which he must wear under the conditions of his order, which banned travelling on the route he took or being in the vicinity of the Games.
According to The Telegraph, the suspect previously tried to get to Afghanistan, allegedly for terrorist training, and is suspected of fighting for the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, which has been responsible for thousands of deaths, including those of Western aid workers.
He was possibly involved in plans to attack Western interests in Somaliland. He denied the allegations and acquitted of any crime in absentia after he fled to Somalia.
According to The Telegraph, the suspect was in custody for a short while in the beginning of 2011 after being deported to Britain. Britain's Home Office says he is linked to a group of six British nationals who received terror training from al-Qaeda leader Saleh Nabhan, who was killed in a dramatic raid by American Navy Seals in 2009, an operation with parallels to the raid last year which killed Osama bin Laden.