Detectives believe a man arrested in Birmingham today could be one of the would-be suicide bombers who tried to blow themselves up on the London transport network last week.
A witness said the arrested man looked like Yasin Hassan Omar (pictured) one of the men named as a suspect in last week's failed attacks.
In Thursday's Birmingham Post:
- Latest reports on today's terror raids
- Reaction from across the city
- Analysis of the city's cultural make-up
Omar (24) was felled with a Taser stun gun after a scuffle with police officers who raided a house in Heybarnes Road in the Hay Mills area of the city at 4.30am today.
Police found a suspect package and more than a 100 nearby homes were then evacuated on Army advice as the bomb squad moved in.
The suspect was taken to Paddington Green high security police station in central London for questioning.
Shortly after his arrest, three other men were held in a raid two miles away in Bankdale Road in the Washwood Heath area of Birmingham. The three men are being held in Birmingham.
The raids were carried out by 50 officers from the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch and West Midlands Police. No shots were fired.
The arrests are thought to be of major significance in the hunt for the bombers.
Detectives fear they may be in possession of explosives after reports that on the day after the failed July 21 attacks, they returned to the tower block flat they had used as a bomb factory in New Southgate, north London.
A resident there claimed she saw three men outside the ninth-floor flat on July 22.
Tanya Wright said: "As I was walking towards the stairwell, there were three men stood outside the flat.
"They looked very suspicious, very worried. They panicked and jumped back into the flat and slammed the front door."
It is also understood that police have recovered a large amount of chemical compounds from a lock-up near the tower block which could have been used to make home-made explosives.
Officers believe that if the July 21 bombers had been successful, the loss of life would have been equivalent to - or possibly worse than - the attacks on July 7 when four suicide bombers killed 52 people.
Two of the July 21 bomb suspects have been named by police as Omar and Muktar Said-Ibrahim, 27.
The house in Bankdale Road, Washwood Heath raided by police this morning
It has emerged that Said-Ibrahim was jailed at the age of 17 after being convicted for a number of violent muggings.
He had arrived as a refugee with other asylum seekers from Eritrea in east Africa when he was 14.
In November 2003 he applied to become a British citizen and he was given his British passport last September.
The Home Office was unable to comment on how he was able to obtain a British passport following his reported conviction and prison sentence.
Omar has also been in the UK for more than 10 years. He arrived from his native Somalia at the age of 12 and in May 2000 was granted indefinite leave to remain.
Scotland Yard refused to confirm whether Omar or Said-Ibrahim were arrested this morning.
Electrician Andy Wilkinson, who lives in Heybarnes Road, said he saw the suspect being led out in a white forensic suit with his hands bound by plastic ties.
He said the suspect looked like Omar but could not confirm it was him.
Mr Wilkinson, 41, said: "It was about 5.10am and all we could hear was a right racket - people trying to break a door down.
"I looked out of the window and the road was full of armed police and they had got the road closed off.
"After 10 or 15 minutes they brought a guy out. He looked like the darkest-skinned one in the photos of the four suspects released by the police - the one with the curly hair.
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"They had him dressed in one of those white suits. He had plastic cuffs on the front and just after he came out, they brought a woman out and she looked Filipino."
Mr Wilkinson said the maisonette property that was raided had been rented for a long time.
He said: "According to the old bloke who lives next door, they come and go and they are not there all the time.
"It's almost like it's a letter drop. You don't see them for three days at a time."
Resident Mandy Higginson said: "There are Somalians living there. I have only ever seen two or three men.
"There used to always be a car parked outside.
"Their hedges were very long and you had to squeeze to get between the car and the hedge."
Bus driver Abdul Dhagjer, who lives two doors away fom the semi-detached house raided on Bankdale Road, said a Somali family had lived there until about six months ago before moving out.
Three young Somali men, aged between 20 and 30, then moved in. A number of other Somali families also lived nearby.
Mr Dhagjer's neighbour Benia Meen, a 32-year-old barber shop owner, also said there were three young Somali men living at the house.
He said: "I saw them last night. I saw about five or six of them sitting outside. I thought they were friends."
Resident Keith Stanley, 58, said the three men were taken away in handcuffs in separate vehicles.
"I don't think anybody in the street had any contact with them, from what I saw," he said.
"They didn't mix and nobody appears to have spoken to them."
The property on Bankdale Road is owned by Mohammed Jahangir and was rented, according to the man's relatives.
Israr Rafiq, who said he was the landlord's younger brother, was taken from near the property by police in a marked van.
Mr Jahangir is also thought to have been taken from the scene.
It is not clear where the men were being taken to.
Imran Qayum, 25, told reporters he was a cousin of Mr Jahangir and that he had owned the property for several years.
Speaking at the scene, he said he had not seen the people living in the property but had visited in the past to carry out repairs on the garden.
Two forensic specialists wearing protective white overalls and dust masks later emerged from the house.
One was carrying a large brown paper bag which appeared full while the other carried out a household size black bin bag.
The officers loaded the bags into a car and drove off.