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Last Suspects in Failed Bombings Nabbed

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer 28 minutes ago

LONDON - Without firing a shot, police raiding apartments Friday in London and Rome rounded up the last of the four suspected attackers from the failed July 21 transit bombings in Britain.

Police officers dressed in white overalls cover the face of a suspect, centre, as he is led from an apartment building in the Notting Hill area of London, Friday July 29, 2005, in this image made from television. Heavily armed police wearing gas masks and reportedly using stun grenades raided the apartment block seeking suspects in the failed July 21 attacks on London's transport system.(AP Photo/APTN) Police officers dressed in white overalls cover the face of a suspect, centre, as he

Two of the suspects were arrested in west London, near the trendy Notting Hill neighborhood, following raids by heavily armed police wearing gas masks and lobbing stun grenades.

Video of the arrests broadcast by ITV News/Daily Mail in London showed two men identified as bombing suspects stripped to the waist and emerging at gunpoint on a balcony of an apartment after police apparently fired tear gas inside.

Tracing cell phone calls across Europe, police in Rome arrested Osman Hussain, a naturalized British citizen from Somalia, said Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu. Hussain, who reportedly fled London and stopped in Milan and Bologna en route to the Italian capital, was "the fourth attacker," he said.

With those arrests, as well as that of Yasin Hassan Omar on Wednesday in the city of Birmingham, authorities believe they have captured all four men whose photos they released following last week's botched bombings, a police official said.

"We have four people in custody we believe are the images we released," said the official, who asked not to be identified in accordance with British practice, referring to images taken from closed-circuit TV cameras on July 21.

Another man was arrested in a separate raid in west London, but police did not release any information about him, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.

So far, about two dozen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks last week in which bombs in backpacks failed to detonate fully on three subway trains and a double-decker bus. Those attacks caused no injuries, unlike the July 7 attacks in London that killed 56 people, including the four suicide bombers.

Despite progress made in the investigation of the bombings, "the threat remains and is very real," said Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist branch.

The police operation was carried out in at least two locations in Notting Hill about a quarter-mile apart.

One of those arrested was believed to be Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, who allegedly tried to blow himself up on a double-decker bus in east London. Ibrahim, also known as Muktar Mohammed Said, came to Britain in 1990 from Eritrea.

The suspect arrested with him identified himself as Ramzi Mohammed, Clarke said, and the official told The Associated Press that Mohammed was the suspect shown wearing a "New York" sweatshirt and believed responsible for the attempted bombing near Oval Tube station.

Hussain is suspected of targeting a subway train near the Shepherd's Bush station. He was shown on closed-circuit TV footage wearing a backpack in the Westbourne Park station.

An official at the British Embassy in Rome said the arrest was carried out as part of a joint investigation between Rome and Scotland Yard. Embassy spokesman Geoffrey Watson said he could not comment further because the investigation was ongoing.

An arrest warrant has been issued "and we will be seeking the return of that man to this country under the authorization of that warrant," Clarke said.

Omar was arrested during a dramatic raid Wednesday in Birmingham in central England. The 24-year-old Somali citizen with British residency is suspected of attacking a train near the Warren Street station.

In Friday's raids in west London, Sky News broadcast video of two men in light blue bodysuits designed to preserve evidence leading away a man in a white bodysuit, shielding his face.

In addition, a witness told The Associated Press that a man wearing what appeared to be a bus driver's uniform was led away by police in handcuffs.

The witness, Osama Ahmed Ali, saw a Somali man whom he recognized as a bus driver.

"He was in a purple-and-yellow bus driver uniform," said Ali, 16. "I've been on a bus with him a couple of times."

Police also arrested two women at the Liverpool Street train station in central London and evacuated the area. One woman is believed to have been in a line for the Stansted Express, which goes to one of London's airports, when she was pushed to the ground by police.

The women were arrested at 1:54 p.m., British Transport Police said. The police were searching a number of suspect packages in the station.

Despite progress made in the investigation, the threat had not gone away.

"We must not be complacent," Clarke said. "The threat remains and is very real."

During the earlier raids, police were involved in a standoff with at least one man in an apartment, pointing assault weapons and pistols at the home, a witness said. Police wearing black balaclavas and body armor surrounded the building.

Sky News broadcast images of police surrounding a red-brick apartment block as they shouted instructions to a suspect inside. Authorities screamed to a man named "Mohammed" to take off his clothes and exit the building, according to a witness identified by Sky News as Lisa Davis.

The ITV footage showed the two men wincing, blowing their noses and spitting on the balcony, apparently suffering from the effects of the tear gas, before placing their hands behind their heads and being led away by police.

Two floors below, an officer wearing a gas mask and holding a police dog attempted to kick an apartment door in. However, two small children approached him and the dog from a door to his left, forcing him to give up and walk away.

Police went door to door in the chic neighborhood, famous for its weekend street market, and told people to evacuate.

"I heard six loud bangs, which I found out from a policeman were stun grenades I believe, and then I heard two shots," witness Patrick Ball said.

The area is near west London's Little Wormwood Scrubs park, where police on Saturday found a dark backpack containing a fifth bomb connected to the July 21 attack.

Meanwhile, a police watchdog group investigated the killing of a Brazilian electrician by police, who believed he was a suicide bomber.

Investigators from the Independent Police Complaints Commission appealed for witnesses who were at Stockwell subway station in south London on July 22, when Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot eight times including seven times to the head.

Menezes' funeral was held Friday in Gonzaga, Brazil, where he was born. Thousands of mourners filed past his casket.

One of the Tube stations closed after the July 7 attacks reopened Friday. Several bouquets of flowers lay at the entrance to the Edgware Road station in a tribute to the seven people killed there. But passenger numbers were visibly down a sign of nervousness among Londoners despite a huge police operation to catch the terrorists.

"I felt a bit nervous coming through the tunnel just then and this morning my mum gave me a look as though she was never going to see me again," commuter Jasmine Chandhoke, 22, said.

Scotland Yard police headquarters declined to comment on the arrest in Zambia of a British man sought in connection with the July 7 bombings.

British investigators reportedly believe Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, had been in telephone contact with some of the four suicide attackers who carried out the July 7 attacks. Aswat told investigators he once was a personal guard for

Osama bin Laden, Zambian security officials said on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

The British Foreign Office said it was seeking access to a Briton reportedly detained in Zambia but would not identify him.

Associated Press reporter Lewis Mwanangombe in Lusaka, Zambia, contributed to this report.