Initial reports were far from candid about the nature and purpose of the raids, but The South Manchester Reporter provided further details:
A RELIGIOUS leader is among five men arrested on suspicion of terrorism.
The Muslim preacher and three others were arrested in raids across Greater Manchester this morning.
The man, who has not been named, teaches the Koran at a number of mosques across the region.
The 62-year-old was arrested at his home on Willows Lane, Deane, Bolton.
"I'm surprised. He carries out spiritual sessions twice-a-week. He is very spiritual," said one source within the Muslim community.
It is understood this morning's raids were part of an investigation into terror training camps in Afghanistan which may have led to a terror plot overseas.
Police sources have stressed the threat was not 'imminent' nor aimed at the UK.
The raids were culmination of a year-long investigation into the recruitment here of would-be terrorists for training in Afghanistan.
The five men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism and also inciting an act of terrorism overseas.
First, police swooped on three addresses in Manchester and one in Bolton at around 4am.
Another man, 27, was arrested in a later raid in Rydal Walk, Stalybridge.
Police have said more arrests could follow.
Around 40 unarmed officers were involved in the raids and they are now searching the properties.
The raids took place at a mobile phone shop and the flat above on Stockport Road, Levenshulme. No-one was arrested at these properties.
Police arrested a 52-year-old man at a house on Victoria Terrace, Longsight, and a 21-year-old man at a property on Bowdon Avenue, Fallowfield.
Later police arrested a 26-year-old man at a hotel near Heathrow Airport.
Solicitor Shabnam Yunis, 26, from Mustafa Solicitors, works a few doors away from Efones, on Stockport Road, Longsight, which was raided along with the flat above, said: "The two lads who own the shop are really decent friendly lads. I am really shocked. You just don't expect anything like this going on. It is normally a quiet and respectable area."
Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: "Protecting people both at home and abroad is our primary concern which is why we take such steps.
"This is a complex and ongoing investigation, which has now reached the point where it was necessary to make arrests and speak to a number of people.
"There was no direct threat against Greater Manchester and the arrests are the latest stage of a thorough investigation. We have been liaising with local people to provide reassurance about what has happened and will continue to keep a high profile presence in affected areas.
"Officers will also be distributing letters around the areas concerned and speaking to residents to let people know what has happened and to ask them to continue to work with us in the coming days.
"The community will be concerned that these arrests caused disruption and distress to people living there. There is no suggestion that those other people were involved in any offences and our priority is to look after these people."
No, the "community" should be bloody grateful that the British authorities see it as their role to prevent their wayward offspring getting blown up or shot by our soldiers in Afghanistan or Pakistan - but let's not let a little thing like common sense intrude here.
Best to just waste countless hours of police time and public money on "reassurance" exercises. Police activity, caried out fairly and within the boundaries of the law, should reassure the law-abiding in itself.
It's not our fault that large numbers of people living in Britain identify with a death cult or a "community" above the country that has taken them in and raised them up.
Might I respectfully suggest that the Greater Manchester Police officers used to hand out those leaflets (no doubt produced in a plethora of languages native to the sub-continent, all on us) might be better placed taking part in beat-sweeps for illegal immigrants and others who have no right to actually be here?
But anyway, I digress.
What will happen to these men if the evidence against them is deemed overwhelming?
Well, some will be charged. Some may even be convicted. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that one or two of them may actually be deported, after serving any prison sentence and fighting exhaustive appeals on the taxpayer's pound.
Some might be luckier than that, however; today The Telegraph draws our attention to dangerous Muslim terrorists placed on "control orders".
Control orders are a form of house arrest used for those deemed dangerous but whom cannot be tried for fear of releasing sensitive intelligence information into the public domain. Judges have ruled that imprisoning them would be a breach of their human rights, and I suppose it goes without saying that deportation is out of the question.
Twenty four suspects placed on control orders since April 2007 have cost the British taxpayer over £600,000; the government has paid them an average of £25,000 each to take care of their living costs.
This figure does not include any social security benefits they receive. Of the 13 currently subject to control orders, 9 receive additional welfare payments:
There are currently 13 suspected terrorists under control orders. Their movements and actions are restricted because the security services believe that they pose a threat to public safety.
They cannot be kept in prison because judges have ruled it would breach their human rights. However, they cannot be put on trial because the security services believe the information that would be used to prosecute them is too sensitive to disclose in court. Instead they are ordered to stay at home, under regular supervision.
Because it is impractical for them to find work, the taxpayer has to pick up the bill for some living costs.
One suspect received more than £9,000 in a single year, consisting of £7,744 towards his accommodation, £891 for utilities, £429 for council tax and £88 towards phone line rental.
Separate figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the total cost to the Home Office of the control orders regime since April 2006 is £9.4 million. Since 2007, £180,000 has been paid to private security companies contracted to carry out “electronic monitoring” of the suspects. The Home Office figures do not include welfare payments. The Department for Work and Pensions said earlier this year that nine suspects were receiving some sort of welfare payments. Seven were receiving job seeker’s allowance.
As well as criticism about the civil liberties implications of control orders, the government has faced charges of being ineffective at controlling suspects. Despite being under regular surveillance by the security forces, at least seven suspects have absconded. Some are thought to have fled the country. Some people who have been subject to orders are said to be extremist preachers who do not directly participate in terrorism but encourage others to do so.
The incompetence and contempt for the public continues to be revealed.
What really confuses me, however, is the 7 who receive job seeker's allowance; the terms of the payments state that one must prove they are actively looking for work in order to receive them. As The Telegraph notes, none of these men can practically work or look for work.
If only that were the worst of it, we would by comparison live in a sane and healthy country.