Terror suspects linked with Hatfield shopping centre
A GANG suspected of filming locations in London for potential terrorist attacks also visited a shopping complex in Hatfield.
City of London Police this week released film footage by an Algerian gang believed to be on a reconnaissance mission for a terrorist plot targeting railway stations around the capital.
But it was also revealed the gang had visited a number of shopping centres around the country – including the Galleria in Hatfield.
The so-called “hostile reconnaissance” footage was recorded on a mobile phone in July 2008, and was released by police in a bid to quell the ongoing row with journalists and photographers, who claim anti-terror laws are being used to prevent snappers taking photos in public places.
The man who took the footage was arrested with four others after he was caught filming and acting suspiciously at Liverpool Street station.
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Two men have since been deported, having served prison sentences for fraud offences.
And a spokeswoman for City of London Police said it was fraud, not terrorism, that brought the men to the Galleria.
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“The footage released was from an investigation which took place in summer 2008,” she said. “Two individuals arrested in the course of that inquiry have since been convicted of fraud offences and deported.
“The individuals concerned had been in the UK a number of years using false identities and committing fraud. Many locational references are linked to areas where their fraudulent activity took place, rather than hostile reconnaissance.”
A sokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Police forces around the country are constantly working in line with the Government’s counter terrorism strategy which aims to protect life and counter incidents of this nature, working in partnership with other agencies.”