Britain foils pre-Olympic terror attack, six in net
British police arrested six suspects in London and shut off part of a busy highway near Birmingham in two apparently unrelated anti-terror swoops today– 22 days before the Olympics. Dipankar De Sarkar reports.Updated: Jul 06, 2012 02:30 IST
British police arrested six suspects in London and shut off part of a busy highway near Birmingham in two apparently unrelated anti-terror swoops on Thursday – less than a month before the Olympics.
In coordinated dawns raid led by the intelligence agency MI5, armed police arrested three men in east London – home to the main Olympic stadium. A man and a woman were arrested from separate addresses in west London, while a third man was picked up from the street – also in west London.
Eight homes in west, east and north London and a business premises were searched. Police said the arrests were not linked to the Olympics or Paralympics, but the BBC reported they were “significant” and may be related to a possible plot involving Islamist extremists, with potential UK targets.
In an unrelated incident, police closed off part of the M6 – a major highway – near the city of Birmingham, around 200 km north of the British capital.
Police said the incident involved a passenger seen acting suspiciously on a coach, and did not discount the possibility that it could be terrorism-related. Initial reports said the passenger was seen pouring some kind of fluid into a bag which then started smoking onboard the coach.
Army bomb disposal personnel were at the scene, as were fire and ambulance services, who have reportedly set up decontamination units.
First Published: Jul 05, 2012 16:45 IST