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1035

May 25 - 31 2011 No. 1035

THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/expat

The Telegraph

SINKING FEELING Misery for Blackpool on day of drama

:: SPORT PAGE 48

Oh no, not again... menace of the volcanic ash cloud returns to European air space

The Queen in Ireland Tensions eased by royal tour :: NEWS P12-13

INSSON/EPA

ADALSTE

ILL

EG

Fancy a week in Devon? Win a romantic holiday for two, including flights :: EXPAT LIFE P32

A PLUME of smoke and ash 12 miles high billows from the Grimsvötn volcano, which erupted in Iceland at the weekend. Forecasters warned that the cloud could reach Britain, France and even Spain this week, raising fears of a repeat of the disruption to flights caused by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano last April. The plume from Grimsvötn blocked out the sun in Iceland, but experts said the impact on air travel was likely to be less severe because the ash was not as fine.

Ancelotti out Manager shown the door by Abramovich :: SPORT P45

By Robert Winnett and Duncan Gardham OSAMA BIN LADEN masterminded a cell of suspected terrorists in Manchester that the British authorities were eventually forced to set free, files seized from the al-Qaeda chief’s Pakistani compound have disclosed.

The Telegraph has learnt that MI5 has been passed intelligence from its American counterpart linking bin Laden directly to the so-called “Easter shopping” bomb plot.

The information is contained in computer files seized by US special forces and is some of the first topsecret intelligence to have been passed back from the bin

Laden operation, according to senior Government sources.

The Manchester terrorist cell – suspected of plotting to blow up landmarks in the city during the Easter holiday – was arrested in 2009.

But the police were unable to press charges because of a lack of evidence and their treatment at the time became a cause célèbre for MPs, lawyers and human rights groups.

An attempt last year to deport the alleged ringleader of the plot then failed on human rights grounds because he claimed he would be tortured if he was returned to Pakistan. Most of the alleged cell members have now left Britain.

The disclosure of the links to bin Laden is likely to lead to renewed concern over the British operation to apprehend the men – and the evidence that can be used in terrorist prosecutions in this country.

The new evidence is understood to have been discussed by the Prime Minister’s national security team. It is hoped that discussions between David Cameron and Barack Obama during the American president’s trip to Britain this week will lead to more intelligence being shared between the two countries.

The Telegraph understands that not all intelligence has been shared by the two countries over the past year – which Whitehall officials now suspect was because of

American concerns over the secrecy of the bin Laden operation.

MI5 is said to be receiving “snippets” from the bin Laden files but is anxious to send people to America to receive full briefings.

A source said: “In the past, we have had fleeting glimpses of al-Qaeda. But, if what we are already starting to see continues, it appears that the bin Laden files really will give us a comprehensive insight into the whole organisation and its operations.”

Last week, the White House said that counter-terrorism would be one of the key items on the agenda for a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on Wednesday in Downing Street.

The CIA has spent much of the past month processing the intelligence from the bin Laden raid, which is expected to be discussed at the meetings between Mr Cameron and Mr Obama.

The CIA has already told its British counterparts that it has found a list of names that included the men allegedly behind the Manchester plot.

The discovery is among the first evidence that bin Laden may have been playing an operational role in al-Qaeda from his hideout at a compound in Abbottabad, before his death on May 2.

Intelligence officials said the files showed that al-Qaeda was interested in targeting US oil and gas installations, as well as trains.

‘Not here. Not in front of the bonus’ Calls for inquiry into Sir Fred Goodwin affair after gagging order lifted Report, page 6