Police hope the capture of a would-be attacker will help break the case

By Todd Peterson
Updated July 28, 2005 08:00 AM

One day after British police arrested four men in conjunction with the July 21 failed bombing attempts in London, another series of raids netted nine more arrests in the case.

Early Thursday, officers swept into two homes in south London where nine men were taken into custody, the Associated Press reports. Those arrests bring the total number of suspects being held to 20.

One of the men arrested Wednesday was Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, who is suspected of trying to place an explosive on a subway during the failed July 21 attempts. Four of the suspects in that botched attack were captured on closed-circuit television. A fifth suspect may be at large.

Omar was arrested at a home in Birmingham and transported to a secure police station in London. A neighbor, who recognized Omar from the widely distributed TV images, said police brought him out of the house in a protective suit used to preserve physical evidence, AP reports. “He had plastic cuffs on the front,” the neighbor said.

After his arrest, police set up barriers around his home and evacuated 100 nearby homes as they searched the residence. Police hoped that their search and the questioning of Omar would lead to more breaks in the case, but they cautioned that three other attackers remained at large.

“We are still looking for the other three men,” London’s anti-terrorist police chief Peter Clarke said. “Until these men are arrested they remain a threat.”

Police continued to try to determine whether the July 21 attempts were related to the July 7 bombings in which 52 civilians and four suicide bombers were killed. Authorities think Omar might be able to help them unravel that mystery.