Robert Booth and agencies
Wednesday March 15, 2006
Muslims protest outside Regent's Park Mosque against newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad that first appeared in a Danish newspaper. Photograph: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan police said four of the men were being held on suspicion of incitement to murder and all five were being held on the public order offence of "using words or written material to stir up racial hatred".
Four of the men were arrested at their London homes in Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Southall and Waltham Forest and were taken to a central London police station for questioning. The fifth man was arrested in Birmingham and is being questioned there
Among the written slogans touted by protesters that day were "butcher those who mock Islam" and "slay those who insult Islam". Some evoked previous al-Qaida suicide bombings with "Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on the way", or "7/7 is on its way".
One man who dressed as a suicide bomber was sent back to jail for breaching the terms of his parole on a drug dealing conviction.
The cartoons were originally published in Denmark and included an image of the Prophet Muhammad with a fizzing bomb in his turban. They were reproduced in countries from France to Yemen, but were not printed in the national media in the UK.
Today's arrests come over a month after the protests, which were widely filmed and photographed allowing identification of the protesters. Shortly after the event, the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Steve House, said the decision not to intervene and make arrests had prevented the situation from becoming "inflamed".
The Met established a dedicated investigation team named Operation Laverda on February 3 to look into the protests.
Asked if there were likely to be more arrests related to the demonstrations, the Met today said they expected "further developments later on".
Derek sums it up:
Kick the Bastards Out.