Five Algerians Held In Pope Plot Terror Swoop
Five Algerian men have been arrested over a potential threat to the Pope, Sky News sources say.
Armed counter-terror officers swooped on a business premises in central London in the early hours of the morning.
The suspects, who are aged 26, 27, 36, 40 and 50, are being held and questioned under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: "The Pope’s itinerary continues today.
"His security arrangements have been reviewed and nothing has changed in terms of the level of protection around him.
"I was at a briefing last week around the whole issue of the Pope’s security and the point was made then that there was no known threat or intelligence to suggest a plot against the Pope.
"What the police are dealing with today is something that has cropped up in the last 24 hours."
The business where the arrests were made is now being searched, as well as homes in north and east London.
Sky sources say that although the suspects are Algerian the plot did not originate overseas.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "Initial searches have not uncovered any hazardous items.
"Today’s arrests were made after police received information. Following initial inquiries by detectives, a decision was made to arrest the five men.
"Following today’s arrests the policing arrangements for the Papal visit were reviewed and we are satisfied that our current policing plan remains appropriate.
"The itinerary has not changed. There is no change to the UK threat level."
A spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said: "We have absolute confidence in the security operation to protect both the Pope and the public.
"The Pope is enjoying a wonderful visit, warmly welcomed wherever he goes.
"This morning he has met with school children at the ‘Big Assembly’ and faith leaders from across the country at the multi-faith event."
A spokesman for the Vatican confirmed the itinerary would not change.
"We are calm, the Pope is happy and we go on with the same joy we have had until now," he said.
From the the Enchiridion of Indulgences, #25:
A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a spirit of filial devotion, devoutly recite any duly approved prayer for the Supreme Pontiff (e.g., the Oremus pro Pontifice):
V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.
Our Father. Hail Mary.
Let us pray.
O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.