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UK police probing alleged bomb plot release one

Reuters | August 17 2006

British detectives probing an alleged plot to bomb transatlantic airliners have released without charge one person they had arrested, police said on Thursday.

But a court has granted them further time to question 23 suspects -- 21 for another week, two for another five days.

Explaining the release, police said in a statement "In all operations, some people may be released without charge while others may remain in custody for further investigation.

"This is not unusual and is to be expected in large and complex criminal enquiries where a number of arrests have taken place."

Detectives had to apply to extend the detention warrants for the 23 suspects arrested since police said they had foiled a plan to carry out suicide bombings on planes bound for the United States using liquid explosives disguised as drinks.

The 23 people are all British-born Muslims, mainly of Pakistani descent. Police can hold suspects for up to 28 days before either charging or releasing them.

The alleged plot by suspected Islamist militants, if followed through, could have surpassed the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States in fatalities.

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