Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Four Britons arrested in Kenya after crossing the border from war-torn Somalia have been held under terrorism laws on their return home.
Officers are questioning the men, all in their 20s and from London.
A police spokesman said the men had been detained under the Terrorism Act 2000 to allow them to investigate their arrest by the Kenyan authorities.
Somalian authorities alleged the men - among several foreigners detained - may have had links to al-Qaeda.
The Metropolitan Police said the four Britons were detained in Kenya on or around 21 January after crossing the border from Somalia.
They were deported back to Somalia on 10 February.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff from Nairobi travelled to Baidoa in Somalia and accompanied the men back to Kenya.
An FCO spokesman said the men were all in good physical condition.
The four were flown back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, arriving at 0650 GMT.
A police spokesman said: "The men have been detained under port and border controls of the Terrorism Act 2000 in order for us to investigate the circumstances leading up to their detention by the Kenyan authorities."
The spokesman added: "They have been taken to a west London police station where they are currently detained. They have not been arrested."
UK support claim
FCO officials say they were trying to establish what happened.
There have previously been claims that Britons were injured or captured in fighting in Somalia, which is currently gripped by a power struggle between Islamists and government forces backed by Ethiopia.
Somalia's deputy prime minister had previously alleged that some support for the Islamist movement was coming from the UK.
A Kenyan police official said the Britons were among 10 foreigners who had been found fleeing Somalia.
The group, which also included two Americans, a Frenchman, a Tunisian woman, Syrians and other fighters of Arabic origin, were to be deported, he said.
Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia in December to prevent the Islamic movement, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), from ousting the internationally recognised government from its stronghold in the west of the country.
Source: BBC, Feb 13, 2007