Convert to Islam arrested in Suffolk with chemicals and grenades

59-year-old man arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism

Friday 02 August - A man arrested after grenades and chemicals were found in a Lowestoft home had converted to Islam and went to mosque in Norwich, neighbours have said.

A 59-year-old man, named locally as Clinton Hicks, has been arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism after the discovery during a police raid at Normanshurst Close on Sunday.

A deceptively quiet street in Lowestoft is now the centre of a counter-terrorism investigation

Neighbours said Mr Hicks had 'around 15 cats', was often seen feeding the seagulls and one neighbour said he had converted to Islam and made weekly trips to a mosque in Norwich.

Two military grenades and an imitation gun were found, along with various chemicals that led Suffolk Police to call in counter-terrorism investigators from the Metropolitan Police.

A 100-metre cordon was initially put in place and three neighbouring properties in Normanshurst Close evacuated as the inquiry continued.

Neighbour Julie Grove, 69, said: 'Everyone's friendly in this little road.'

'You used to see him out every day with his cats and feeding the seagulls.'

'He had all these cats and he'd stand out there with a notebook and let about three out at a time and he'd write the names down of the cats he'd let out.'

Ms Grove said Mr Hicks told the neighbour that he had converted to Islam and she said she would see the man getting picked up on a Friday morning.

'We know all about his connection, being picked up every Friday and being taken to Norwich to go to the mosque there,' said Ms Grove.

'Someone would come and pick him up every Friday morning from Norwich and take him over to the mosque.'

Detective Chief Superintendent Alexis Boon, from the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: 'After a pre-planned operation by Suffolk Constabulary in which officers arrested a man, the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command is now leading this investigation, working closely with police in Suffolk.'

'Suffolk Constabulary acted quickly to make the area safe, including erecting a cordon around the address as a precautionary measure while inquiries are ongoing.'

Author's comment: Well, if this particular Muslim is going to play the 'mental health card', he's really thrown himself into the role. It's not every day you see a Muslim with 15 cats who logs their comings and goings in a notebook.

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