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Suspected terrorists planning Danish newspaper attack had links with British network

Suspected terrorists arrested on their way to launch a Mumbai-style attack on a Danish newspaper had links with a network in Britain it can be disclosed.

Three men were arrested last week with weapons in their car in Denmark, where apparently planing to raid the offices of the newspaper and kill as many people as possible.

The men are thought to have links with two men in Derby who were part of a network run by al-Qaeda mastermind Ilyas Kashmiri, one of the world's most wanted men.

CagePrisoners, a British group campaigning for Muslim prisoners, used one of the figures arrested in the alleged Danish plot, Munir Awad, as a case-study for unjust imprisonment after he was arrested on separate trips to Somalia and Pakistan.

CagePrisoners, which is supported by the Joseph Rowntree trust and Amnesty International, has previously helped publicise the work of Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior figure with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Kashmiri network in Derby was uncovered by MI5 when David Coleman Headley, an American working with Kashmiri, travelled to Britain in August 2009 to meet two men who were to help him with an attack on the Danish newspaper.

They, in turn, sent him to meet a contact called "Farid" in Sweden, a businessman living in an apartment in central Stockholm.

Farid apparently told Headley he could not help because he was being "continuously watched," according to a later interrogation of Headley.

SAPO, Sweden's security service, had the men under survelliance when they crossed the Danish border on December 28 in a rented vehicle transporting the firearm.

The Danish security and intelligence service followed the alleged cell to an apartment in Copenhagen.

They were arrested as they went back to their car the following day,

One of the key figures was Munir Awad, a 29-year-old Swede born in Lebanon, who was arrested in Somalia by Ethiopian troops in 2007.

He had shared a flat in Stockholm with two Swedes of Somali origin who were members of al-Shebab, a Somali-based terrorist group link to al-Qaeda. They were found guilty last month of "planning terrorist crimes" in Somalia.

A security source said the network was still being investigated but it was not thought the men had received "operational" help from Britain.