Britain’s anti-terror police have arrested five men on suspicion of plotting acts of terrorism
in the country.
Two of the suspects, aged 32 and 37, were arrested Friday and were taken into custody in the Stoke area of Staffordshire, a landlocked county in the West Midlands.
Following the first arrest, counter-terror forces raided a number of homes in Birmingham and arrested three other men, aged 18, 24 and 28.
Officials said all five men were being held in the West Midlands on suspicion of commissioning, preparing or instigating acts of terror.
After the raid in Birmingham, a part of the city was cordoned off while police and an army bomb squad performed security inspections. Some properties in Stoke were also searched as part of the investigation.
Police officials said the arrests were “intelligence-led and part of an ongoing investigation.”
The army bomb disposal squad was called to the scene as a “precautionary measure” following the arrests, police added.
Despite the apprehension, no change was made to the country’s overall terrorism threat level which remained at “severe”, its second-highest.
Police vans outside a building in Birmingham on Friday, August 26, 2016
“There is no immediate risk to the public at this stage,” a police spokeswoman said.
Police are investigating the suspects and none of them have been charged with a crime yet.
Birmingham is England’s second-largest city and has a big Muslim population.
The arrests came amid growing warnings by British security officials about an imminent terror attack in the country.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said in mid-July that her country needed to step up efforts to curb terrorism.
She made the comments days after an attacker rammed his truck into a crowd of people who were celebrating the French National Day in the city of Nice, killing at least 84 and injuring more than 200.
British security services have also warned that a terrorist attack in the country is “highly likely” following attacks in other parts of Europe