The death of a police detective on Jan. 14 in a botched raid on an apparent terrorist hideout in Manchester has raised concern that Britain may be a target of Islamic militants. The officer was stabbed by a suspect who escaped custody while the apartment was being searched. Two men were arrested.
The operation was linked to a raid on Jan. 5 in London in which police found a small laboratory and traces of ricin, a deadly toxin. Four men of Algerian origin were charged with terrorism and chemical weapons offenses. While the police are saying little, they seem to be racing to bust up cells before they can strike. But the motives of the alleged terrorists remain obscure. One suspicion is that Algerian militants, possibly under al Qaeda's influence, are switching their efforts from their home country, which has been racked by political violence for years, to Europe.
Edited by Rose Brady