(NSI News Source Info) April 9, 2009: Gordon Brown has said Pakistan's government "has to do more" to root out "terrorist" elements in its country. The prime minister was speaking after police arrested 12 men, including 11 Pakistani nationals, in anti-terror raids across north west England. Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (top R) gestures as he talks with police officers during a visit to the new headquarters of Cumbria Police Constabulary in Carlisle, northern England, April 9 2009. Mr Brown said police had to move early to foil "a very big terrorist plot". He said he would speak to Pakistan's president to raise concerns about what he termed "increasing" terror links between Pakistan and the UK. Mr Brown said: "We know that there are links between terrorists in Britain and terrorists in Pakistan. That is an important issue for us to follow through". He added: "One of the lessons we have learned from the past few years is that Pakistan has to do more to root out terrorist elements in its country as well." "That's why I'll be talking to the Pakistan president Mr Zardari. We want the closest co-operation between Britain and Pakistan to deal with countering terrorism."
The alleged target of the suspected terror plot, which BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said could possibly have involved an explosive device, has not been identified. But Mr Brown said police had been following the plot "for some time", before Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick accidently revealed a secret document to photographers. The blunder forced police to bring forward their plans to arrest suspects in Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire. Mr Brown said : "We had to act pre-emptively to ensure the safety of the public." Police moved quickly to dampen down speculation the alleged plot involved bomb attacks on a shopping centre and nightclub in Manchester. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Peter Fahy said: "The locations mentioned in the media are pure speculation. "I have no hesitation in using these locations and there is no particular threat against locations mentioned in the media." Mr Fahy refused to reveal the alleged target of the plot, or what was found inside the properties raided by police on Wednesday. He said: "We are evaluating all the material we are finding, interviewing people and the investigation will take a long time." Although he did not confirm a reported al-Qaeda link to the alleged plot, Mr Fahy also stressed the nationality of those arrested so far was significant. He told reporters: "We know what is the nature of the threat to this country and we know where it comes from. A man was arrested at Liverpool John Moores University "Clearly links with other countries will feature in this investigation. The reporting of the fact 11 of those arrested are Pakistani nationals is a matter of public knowledge." Mr Gardner said police moved fast because they felt there was a "clear and present danger to the public." Although he said there were "unconfirmed reports" that an explosive device was involved, his understanding was that no device had yet been found. "If there was a terror plot, it was at the aspirational rather than operational stage," he said.