Through the Looking Glass
31 October 2005
Today's guest writer is Christopher Allen. Have a happy/scary Halloween.
News flash... Man arrested for gathering information useful to terrorists
ELGIN, Scotland - Neil Fraser, of Elgin, but originally from Canada, was arrested today by Grampian police under the Terrorism Act 2000. Officers seized computers and other evidence from his home and his workplace. Detective Inspector Plod, of the Moray division, declined to comment about the arrest or whether charges would be brought, other than to indicate that Mr. Fraser was being held on the basis of a video clip posted by him on the Internet.
The officer said, "Although this video appears to be a nostalgic tour of the Highlands, on closer examination it became obvious that it is clearly the result of an extensive information-gathering exercise. The video contains footage of numerous potential terrorist targets, including bridges, ships, railway facilities, military aircraft, public buildings, security systems, shops, and public gatherings, and would be clear value in the planning of further terrorist atrocities in Scotland." D.I. Plod did not indicate whether he believed that Mr. Fraser or hypothesized co-conspirators might be attempting to target ducks and other wildlife as part of their terrorist campaign.
Meanwhile, a source at the Home Office revealed that the government may use the case to help push through Parliament new anti-terror legislation allowing terror suspects to be held for up to 90 days without charge. The official said, in reference to a shot in the video where a menacing-looking Mr. Fraser is seen sitting on a blanket that appears to contain a coded message, "the ability to detain terror suspects for more than the present fourteen days is absolutely crucial in cases such as this one where it may take considerably longer than that to decrypt secret communication." No comment was given as to whether the government would seek to deport Mr. Fraser, a dual citizen, under other provisions of the new legislation.