|Three articles appearing in the South Yorkshire Star documenting the raid on Neils home:
Anti-terror police swoop on two homes
Published Date: 06 November 2008
By Claire Lewis
ANTI-TERROR police have swooped on two South Yorkshire homes and made three arrests.
Specialists from the Counter Terrorism Unit in Leeds were alerted on Sunday after police investigating a burglary in Aston, near Sheffield, found “suspicious material” inside the property.
A search of the house suggested links to a property on Alexander Road, Swallownest, also near Sheffield, and when officers raided the home in the early hours of Monday they discovered more items of concern.
The nature of the material has not yet been disclosed but an army bomb disposal unit was called to the Swallownest address yesterday.
Materials likely to cause concern and trigger arrests under the Terrorism Act include explosives but also items connected to certain political or ideological causes or anything which suggests an intent to cause harm.
Two men and a woman were initially arrested on suspicion of burglary and drug-related offences but after the search of the Swallownest address they were arrested under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
The two men, aged 34 and 37, and the 20-year-old woman have been detained in South Yorkshire for questioning.
Police have been granted an extended period of time to quiz them because their arrests relate to terrorism. A judge in London had to agree to an extension of the normal detention laws and will re-assess the case tomorrow if officers want more time.
Kim Roebuck, who lives on Alexander Road, which was still under police guard this morning, said police have not spoken to residents.
“They came in the early hours of Monday and have been at the house ever since, with cars and vans coming and going all the time but we were never told anything even though we knew it must have been something serious,” she said.
“My partner went to ask a policeman and was told there were people in the cells and he couldn’t say any more, which wasn’t very reassuring.
“When the bomb disposal unit came it became even more worrying. To hear that this could be to do with terrorism is worrying because this is a good, quiet area to live but people do keep themselves to themselves so you don’t know everyone.
“I only ever see a woman with a baby at the house.”
A Counter Terrorism Unit spokeswoman said: “Suspicious material was discovered at a house in Aston. A number of safety measures have been taken including the support of specialist teams who have carried out thorough searches at both addresses, recovering further items from the second address.
“Neither property is believed to present a risk to local residents.Enquiries are under way by officers from the Counter Terrorism Unit-Leeds and South Yorkshire Police. Searches at one premise are now concluded but they continue at the other address.”
The Leeds-based Counter Terrorism Unit is one of only four in the country.
Wife speaks out as men still in custody
Search: Swallownest house
Published Date: 07 November 2008
THE wife of a man taken into custody by anti-terror police today said she was baffled by his arrest and continuing detention.
Neil Jones, aged 37, of Alexandra Road, Swallownest, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday and is still being questioned after a judge granted a custody extension.
His wife Mandy, 36, and the couple’s two-year-old daughter Chloe have spent four nights with friends while their two-bedroom house has been searched by officers from the Leeds-based Counter Terrorism Unit.
Neil was arrested along with a 34-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman after police investigating a burglary in Aston found ‘suspicious material’ inside the 34-year-old’s property.
The 20-year-old woman arrested has been released without charge but bailed in connection with drugs and burglary offences. The two men were today still in police custody.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Two Rotherham men are still in custody and searches at one address continue as inquiries are ongoing.”
The arrests are not related to Islamic extremism.
But Mandy said today her husband was totally innocent – and criticised the way police had kept her from her home.
“My husband left home in the early hours of Sunday morning to pick up this bloke, who he’d met at someone else’s house the previous week,” she said.
“It was raining and he was going to bring him over so they could watch a DVD together. I wasn’t expecting him to be gone long, he’d left the fire and TV on.
“I’d gone to bed but when I realised Neil hadn’t come home, I rang his mobile.
“Someone else answered, the other bloke’s girlfriend. She said the police had arrived and had found a bag of items they said had been stolen from a chemist in a robbery.
“The police arrested Neil and his friend – I thought he would be home within hours as we have a CCTV camera outside the house which would prove what time he’d left, along with the text messages he’d sent to this man.”
But Mandy said she didn’t receive a call from Neil until Tuesday evening.
“He said he was sure he was going to wake up soon and it would all be a bad dream,” she said.
In the meantime Mandy had been told to leave her home while it was searched – a search which has now been going on for more than four days.
“I’ve no idea what they are looking for. To suggest Neil is involved in terrorism is crazy.
“He is one for Queen and country, he wouldn’t be involved in anything like that. He’s a loving family man. How long does it take to search a two bedroomed house anyway?”
Mandy said her husband had a collection of military items, which he had had for years, including body armour.
“But there’s nothing illegal about it. It’s all completely mad,” she added.
Published Date: 12 November 2008
By Polly Rippon
TWO men arrested in Rotherham in connection with suspected terrorism have been released without being charged with terror offences.
The men, aged 34 and 37, from Swallownest, were arrested by officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit after they were called in by South Yorkshire officers investigating a burglary in Aston.
A police spokeswoman said: “Two men aged 34 and 37 from Rotherham were released in connection with terrorism offences.
“Both men have subsequently been charged in connection with other criminal offences not related to terrorism.
“The two house searches were concluded by the Counter Terrorism Unit, Leeds, last Friday and South Yorkshire Police has subsequently released both properties back to their owners.”
Officers searched the Aston property which led them to another house in Alexandra Road, Swallownest.