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Four arrested in UK over 'Islamist poppy terror plot'

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A Yeoman Warder walks through ceramic poppies that form part of the art installation "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" at the Tower of London. The evolving art installation will be completed on November 11 when the 888,246th poppy will be planted. Each poppy represents a soldier killed during the First World War. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

A Yeoman Warder walks through ceramic poppies that form part of the art installation "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" at the Tower of London. The evolving art installation will be completed on November 11 when the 888,246th poppy will be planted. Each poppy represents a soldier killed during the First World War. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

REUTERS

A Yeoman Warder walks through ceramic poppies that form part of the art installation "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red" at the Tower of London. The evolving art installation will be completed on November 11 when the 888,246th poppy will be planted. Each poppy represents a soldier killed during the First World War. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Four men have been arrested in connection to a suspected Islamist terrorist attack on Remembrance Sunday.

Counter-terrorism police, acting on intelligence from MI5, arrested three men aged 19, 22, and 25 at addresses across west London and the High Wycombe. A fourth man, 27, was arrested in a street in west London.

Police also confirmed that a number of residential homes and vehicles were still being searched by specialist officers last night.

All four were taken to central police stations following their arrest, where they are currently being held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism.

The arrests come amid tightened security following recent attacks in Ottawa and New York.

The Times reported this morning that the alleged plot is thought to have been inspired by Isis, also known as the Islamic State. Police and security services would not reveal whether there was a specific threat.

However, the BBC reported one official as pointing out the arrests came only two days before Remembrance Sunday and The Times wrote the timing of the arrests, overnight on Thursday, suggested an urgency to the operation – pointing to fears of an imminent attack.

Police confirmed that although firearms officers were deployed in at least two of the locations, no shots were fired in the course of the arrests.

The arrests started last night at 8.31pm in Southall when armed officers stopped a car and the man aged 27. Only a quarter of an hour later, simultaneous raids were conducted in Hounslow, where the man aged 22 was held and then High Wycombe where the youngest man, aged 19, involved was arrested. A 25-year-old man was detained in Uxbridge at 2.55am.

In a statement, the Met spokesperson said the arrests and searches were "part of an ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism".

Officers from the Met's SO15 counter terrorism command are working with the south-east counter-terrorism unit and MI5.

The arrests come after the UK national terror threat level was raised from "substantial" to "severe" in August. The raised level means a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely".

Online Editors