Britisk politi slo mandag til i fire byer og arresterte 12 personer mistenkt for terrorplaner. Politiet sier terrortrusselen er alvorlig og at angrep er «høyst sannsynlig».
I følge the Guardian skal et av de arresterte mennenes mål ha vært regjeringsbyggene i Whitehall og det britiske parlamentet. Andre mål skal ha vært sentrale handleområder, hvor det som vanlig ferdes ekstraordinært mange mennesker i dagene før jul.
The arrest of 12 suspects in four cities, including London, over fears they were preparing to launch an attack was «absolutely necessary» in the circumstances, the country’s top counter terrorism officer has said.
Unarmed officers from four forces swooped on homes in the capital, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Cardiff at 5am. The raids came after several months of surveillance and monitoring by police and MI5 officers.
On Monday afternoon, standing outside New Scotland Yard, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates said it was «absolutely vital» that the public remained vigilant. Mr Yates said: «Earlier today, police arrested 12 men in a pre-planned, intelligence-led national counter-terrorism operation. The men, from the London, Stoke and Cardiff areas, are aged between 17 and 28. They were all arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, cooperation and instigation of acts of terrorism.
«They are currently in custody at three separate police stations across the country where they will be interviewed over the coming days. We are also searching a large number of premises and I expect that these searches will take some time to complete. The operation is in its early stages so I am unable to go into any detail at this time as I do not wish to say anything that may prejudice any future legal proceedings. However, what I would say is that with the current threat level in the UK at severe and with the information we have, I believe today’s arrests were absolutely necessary in order to keep the public safe.
Mr Yates added: «This operation has used significant resources from the country’s counter terrorism network and I would like to thank all my colleagues, in particular those from West Midlands, for their efforts. As both I and other law enforcement colleagues have said on many previous occasions, the threats from terrorism to the UK remain real and serious.
«The threat level remains at severe, which means that an attack is highly likely. It is absolutely vital that we all remain vigilant and I cannot stress enough that if anyone is suspicious about any activity or behaviour that seems out of the ordinary and gives them cause for concern then I would urge them to call the confidential anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321.»
I følge the Guardian skal et av de arresterte mennenes mål ha vært det britiske parlamentet. Andre mål skal ha vært sentrale shopping-områder hvor det ferdes ekstraordinært mange mennesker i dagene før jul.