OSLO, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Three suspected al-Qaeda members were arrested Thursday in what Norwegian authorities said was a plot linked to cases in the United States and Great Britain.
Two of the suspects were apprehended in the Oslo region by the Police Security Service and the other was apprehended in Germany in collaboration with German authorities.
Authorities believe the suspects were planning attacks with portable but powerful bombs like the ones at the heart of last year's thwarted suicide attack in the New York City subway.
On Wednesday, prosecutors revealed the existence of a related plot in Manchester, England.
The suspects, all in their late 30s, are of foreign descent with one holding Norwegian citizenship and the other two having permanent residence permits.
The Police Security Service said in a statement that one of the suspects is of Uyghur origin who came to Norway at the end of the 1990s and was granted citizenship in 2007.
Another is an Iraqi-Kurdish national who holds a permanent residence permit while the third is a Uzbek who came to Norway at the beginning of the 2000s and now holds a permanent residence permit.
The Police Security Service said it decided to make the arrests on Thursday because the international press had learned about parts of the case and wanted to publish the information. That, the Police Security Service said, would have resulted in a great risk of destruction of evidence and the evasion of additional investigation.
The names of the three detainees were not released.
"It is important to emphasize that those groups in Norway that may constitute a threat to national security are small and primarily involved in support activities to foreign countries. We would therefore like to stress that today's apprehensions will not result in a different assessment of the current threat situation in Norway, and that the threat level will still be considered low," the Police Security Service said.