Detectives have been given more time to continue questioning nine suspects over an alleged terror plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier.
A judge at Coventry Magistrates’ Court granted police a further seven days to interview the men about an alleged Iraqi-style abduction conspiracy.
They were transferred in a heavily armoured police convoy to the court to attend the private hearings in person. Television pictures showed the convoy arriving at the court. Several armed officers then fanned out as a police van reversed into the complex.
District Judge Nicholas Evans was brought in from London specially to deal with this case. A source close to the case claimed none of the suspects had been interviewed by police yet.
Under new anti-terror laws, police can detain the suspects, British men of Pakistani descent, for a maximum of 28 days without charge.
However, during that time they have to apply for a series of extensions - each time appearing before a judge to outline the evidence and questions they want to put to the men.
Eight were held in dawn raids across Birmingham on Wednesday, with the ninth arrested on a motorway in the city several hours later.
They are being held on the suspicion of the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism" under the Terrorism Act 2000.
Yesterday’s raids - believed to be called Operation Gamble - have once again fuelled tensions between the police and the Muslim community in Britain.
Cab driver Mohammed Shazad, 39, who lives near Jackson Road, Birmingham, the scene of one of the raids, said: "I am fed up with the police. Every time I go back to my house I have to tell them my name and address.
"They have been standing here all of yesterday and last night and should know by now. Because of our culture we don’t want our sisters or daughters on camera every time they go out so they are locked up inside like they are under siege."
West Midlands Police officers today distributed 5,000 leaflets among the local community in a bid to defuse the tensions, insisting Muslims were not being unfairly targeted by anti-terror police.
These have been translated into Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali and Urdu.
"We want to reassure you that the police are not targeting communities or faiths but suspected criminals," the force said. "Our role is to protect, reassure and support all communities. Our message to you is to be patient and vigilant."
The leaflet insists hate crime will not be tolerated and asks any victims to come forward: "Your safety remains our priority."