July 13 2005 at 07:37AM
By Staff Reporter and Sapa-AFP
On a dramatic day in the search for the London bombers, British police raided seven Yorkshire houses, including the homes of three of the four men
they suspect carried out the attacks.
Police on Tuesday arrested one man during the raids, uncovered what they said was "dangerous" material and seized two vehicles they believe were
linked to Thursday's bombings, which killed at least 52 people and injured 700.
One vehicle was found in a Luton car park and another was taken during a police raid on a home belonging to a South African woman, who has been living
in Leeds' Dewsbury area for more than 20 years.
The woman, whose name is known to The Star, originally hails from Germiston and was married to a British national who died a few years ago.
Yusuf Abramjee, the head of news and talk programming for Primedia Broadcasting, was at the scene while police searched the South African woman's
home and told The Star that the police's investigation was believed to centre around either the woman's son or son-in-law, both of whom lived with
her but were not home when the police raided the house.
A Dewsbury resident told The Star that the South African woman - whose home was cordoned off by police for more than eight hours - was a "strong
"She does a lot of work with schools and old-age homes in the area... She went to a garden party hosted by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her
community work," said the man, who did not want to be identified.
Police late on Tuesday night also searched another home a few streets away, which the woman's son-in-law is also believed to have occupied at one
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair said the series of searches in Yorkshire were "directly connected to the outrages on Thursday".
On a day of high drama in the city of Leeds, army experts had earlier set off a controlled explosion outside one of the houses in order to give the
Detectives said the searches were a "significant" part of their probe into the London attacks, which police believe were carried out by four suicide
Police uncovered some dangerous "material" while carrying out the search at several locations in West Yorkshire, said Peter Clarke, head of the
Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad.
"Some material has been found which has caused the West Yorkshire police to take measures to ensure there is no risk to the public," he said.
Clarke confirmed that a man was arrested during the raids. He was to be brought to London for questioning.
About 500 people were evacuated from the surrounding streets and a large area of the rundown, racially mixed area of Leeds was cordoned off.
Police said they were trying to establish whether four men had blown themselves up in last week's explosions, which could be the first suicide
attacks in Britain.
"The investigation quite early led us to have concerns about the movements and activities of four men, three of whom came from the West Yorkshire
area," Clarke said.
"We are trying to establish their movements in the run-up to last week's attacks and specifically to establish whether they all died in the
Clarke said police found personal documents with the names of three suspects close to the scene of three of the blasts, which bear the hallmark of
It was "very likely" that one suspect died in one of the blasts, at Aldgate Underground station, Clarke said.
Police believe the four men had travelled to London from West Yorkshire on the day of the blasts and had been captured on closed-circuit television
footage at King's Cross station shortly before 8.30am.
Three bombs exploded within 50 seconds of each other at 8.50am on subway trains that had all passed through King's Cross. A fourth exploded 57
minutes later on a bus not far away.
The raids came as frustration mounted at what many grieving relatives feel is slow progress in formally identifying the bombing victims.
Leeds has a Muslim population of around 30 000 - one of the largest in Britain. The area's residents were shocked by Tuesday's raids and fear an