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Sep 25, 2:04 PM EDT

UK counterterror police arrest 9 men in London

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LONDON (AP) -- British counterterrorism police have arrested nine men on suspicion of being members of banned organizations as well as supporting and encouraging terrorism.

The men, ranging in age from 22 to 51, are in custody at London police stations.

British media reported that Anjem Choudary, a former leader of a banned radical group called al-Muhajiroun, was among those arrested. Police haven't confirmed it, since they don't name people who haven't been charged.

Police also raided homes, businesses and community centers as part of the probe. Searches took place Thursday at more than a dozen sites in London and in Stoke on Trent.

Police said in a statement that the arrests and searches were part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist-related terrorism rather than any immediate risk to public safety.

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