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A Suburb in Stockport

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Scott posted..

Residents on an affluent suburban street have spoken of their shock after a neighbour admitted accessing a catalogue of terrorism information on a computer.

Umer Farooq pleaded guilty to 14 counts of possession of material that could be useful to a terrorist at a hearing at the Old Bailey in London. Anti-terror police found he had been accessing material which included an al-Qaeda magazine and details of how to make explosives, poisons and lethal mines.

Unemployed Farooq, 34, who is single and has no children, had been lodging with family members in their £500,000 house on leafy Bramhall Moor Lane, Hazel Grove, for around three years.

Neighbours were stunned to see the property raided by police in April. Eyewitnesses saw computers and books being taken from the detached house – but said they still had no idea the swoop was terrorism-related.

Near-neighbour Jessie Pipe, 32, said residents were stunned to learn of the case yesterday, she said: “You don’t expect it anywhere – but I really wouldn't expect it here. It is such a quiet family area. It is quite unnerving to think that was going on just across the way. The police came round and I knew it was serious because there were so many officers and vans.”

Another neighbour, 65-year-old Margaret Jones, said: “It is something you think happens in other places, but this time it is right on our doorstep.”

Farooq was arrested by detectives from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit at Heathrow Airport on June 1. Officers had intelligence to suggest that he was about to board a plane to Pakistan.

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