Neighbour Maureen Cooper reported seeing police activity at Moazzam Begg's house in Hall Green from about seven o'clock.
She said a number of unmarked vehicles had arrived, one of which appeared to contain photographic equipment.
A small silver car and a green people carrier were taken away on low loaders, she said.
She also said Mr. Begg's wife had told her in a conversation last autumn that he had been abroad for "several months."
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Cold with some icy stretches to start. There will be sunny intervals and further blustery, wintry showers.
Early wintry showers will clear to give a mostly dry day with some sunny spells.
Scattered wintry showers will continue overnight. Clear spells will allow a frost to develop by morning.