'Significant' Isil inspired terror plot to attack Britain smashed by police
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of plotting a Paris style marauding terror attack on the streets of Britain.
The pair, who are understood to be brothers, were arrested in a pre-planned dawn raid at a property in west London on Thursday morning.
Security sources said the raid had interrupted a “significant” terrorist plot aimed at bringing death and mayhem to Britain.
The plot was said to have been inspired by Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) and was believed to involve guns and possibly bombs.
Security sources suggested that rather than a “lone wolf” style attack, the plot was more widespread and serious in nature.
However the suspects are not believed to have been in possession of weapons at the time of their arrests and the raids are thought to have taken place at what was an early stage in the alleged plot.
The arrests come just days after hate preacher Anjem Choudary was jailed for five and a half years for pledging an oath of allegiance to Isil.
There had been concern that Choudary supporters might try to mount some sort attack in revenge for the cleric having been convicted and jailed, but was not clear if the plot was connected.
The two suspects aged 19 and 20 were being questioned on suspicion of preparing a terrorist act.
While the younger brother was said to be the ringleader of the alleged attack, the 20-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of funding terrorism and failing to disclose information regarding an act of terrorism.
In addition a third man was detained by counter terror police in south east London, on suspicion of a religiously aggravated offence.
This man, who was arrested at his home in south east London, was born and raised in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
His father had worked for the military in Iraq and was forced to flee the country, travelling to Britain in 2007 with the rest of his family.
The 19-year-old was held on suspicion of a racially aggravated offence, relating to a “separate matter”, according to Scotland Yard.
However security sources said the three arrests were linked.
The man lives in a substantial three storey Victorian property which is owned by the local authority, with his mother, father and two sisters, one who is in her 20s and the other of whom is of primary school age.
Neighbours said they were woken shortly after 5.30am by the sound of the front door being kicked down and officers shouting “police, police”.
They said a young man was led away from the house around 15 minutes later.
The family were said to be polite, quiet and respectable, and had distributed food to neighbours during religious festivals.
Counter-terror officers raided a series of addresses in London and the South East, just after 5.30am and took the men in for questioning.
The raids were the result of a planned intelligence led operation and involved officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.
Scotland Yard said officers were searching a number of addresses and vehicles across London and the Thames Valley area.