Eight people thought to be of Pakistani origin were arrested for plotting to kidnap a British Muslim soldier and video taping his torture and beheading. They then wanted to post the video tape on the internet. From Sky News:
The eight people arrested by terror police in Birmingham were allegedly planning an Iraq-style kidnapping and beheading in the UK.
Sky’s Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt says they intended to post a video of the hostage being tortured and killed on the internet.
Their target was a British Muslim soldier in his twenties who is now under police protection.
The soldier, who has not been named, has served with UK forces in Afghanistan.
His abduction would have mirrored the kidnappings of the British hostages Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan by Iraqi insurgents.
The suspects – believed to be of Pakistani origin – were detained under the Terrorism Act after a six-month surveillance operation.
It is thought they are being held in Coventry. Two are said to be males aged 31 and 29. The latter has been named locally as Amjad Mahmood.
The Sun Online reports that this plot was part of a larger blackmail attempt against Tony Blair:
EVIL Muslim terrorists were to kidnap a British soldier on UK streets and force him to plead with Tony Blair for his life in return for a pull-out of troops from Iraq, The Sun can reveal.
The soldier would have been filmed begging the PM to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan in a sick propaganda stunt.
Army sources said the target was a British Muslim soldier in his 20s.
He would eventually be beheaded on film in a sick mirror of the torture and savage killing of British hostage Ken Bigley if Mr Blair refused.
Senior security sources say the plot would have put the most unbearable blackmail pressure on the Premier to act.
It would also have sent shockwaves through the entire British Armed Forces – putting the fear of God into every man and woman in uniform on or off duty.
One well-placed source said: “This plot represents a staggering change of tactic.
“We have all been braced for more mainland bombs which claim many lives and cause turmoil and widespread public fear.
“This would have taken things to a new dimension. The pressure on the PM would have been unimagineable.
Thank goodness they were caught. If these terrorists had succeeded with their plan, it would have certainly emboldened other radicals in Britain to try something like that as well.