Chief constable vows to protect Jewish communities in Manchester after terror arrests

Chief Constable Stephen Watson has stepped up patrols after two terror suspects accused of plotting to carry out an ISIS-style attack appeared in court.

The chief constable of one of Britain's largest police forces has said his officers are doing their "level best" to protect Jewish communities.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson has stepped up patrols in and around Manchester after two terror suspects accused of plotting to carry out an ISIS-style attack appeared in court.

The alleged plans involved a gun attack targeting the Jewish community in the North West.

Stephen Watson, the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said efforts to protect Muslim and Jewish communities had been going on "for some time" since the October 7 attack by terror group Hamas.

More police officers will be on patrol to ensure the safety of marginalised communities in Manchester.

He said: "We do acknowledge the importance of this in terms of the perceptions of our Jewish communities of threat and risk and fear... Events in the Middle East are affecting many members of our different communities across Manchester."But we know particularly, not least because hate crime against our Jewish communities are significantly up, that we we have a duty to ensure that nobody in Greater Manchester is subject to hate crime and that in this context is particularly true of the Jewish community as well as other communities."So we have been sustaining for some time now enhanced care, vigilance and visibility to try and reassure people. Whilst this case I know will cause concern, it should equally in itself create some reassurance that we have some very skillful people who are performing in a really difficult space.

"I'm convinced that in this context we are doing our level best to safeguard our communities from dreadful things happening in the first place."

Walid Saadaoui, 36, of Crankwood Road, Abram, Wigan, and Amar Hussein, 50, of no fixed abode, are accused of plotting to carry out an Islamic State-inspired gun attack.

Both men appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court Credit: PA

The two men are alleged to have plotted a terror attack designed to cause 'multiple fatalities using automatic weapons' in the North West of England, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard on 15 May.

Prosecutors alleged that Saadaoui and Hussein intended to target law enforcement and military as part of a 'Isil or Daesh-inspired terrorist attack'. Both have been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts between 13 December 2023 and 9 May 2024.Bilel Saadaoui, 35, of Fairclough Street, Hindley, also appeared before the court accused of making arrangements for Walid Saadaoui – who is his brother – after his death. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism.All three suspects were remanded into custody ahead of an appearance at the Old Bailey on May 24. The men were arrested after GMP executed four warrants in Bolton, Great Lever, Abram and Hindley.Yesterday, the Jewish community in Greater Manchester was told to 'continue as normal' and "remain alert".

Earlier this year, the CST reported a record number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country, with 555 cases taking place in Greater Manchester in 2023 alone - a 163 per cent increase compared to the year before.

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