A man has been arrested at Stansted airport on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, just over a day after the deadly Manchester suicide bombing.
Counter-terror officers arrested the suspect as he attempted to board a flight to Turkey and police say his detention “is linked to travel to Syria”.
The 37-year-old was arrested “on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism contrary to Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000,” according to a Metropolitan Police statement.
The suspected terrorist has been taken to a south London police station where he is being detained under the Terrorism Act. Officers are now searching two residential addresses in north London.
Scotland Yard insisted the arrest at Stansted has no connection to Monday’s Manchester Arena attack, but it may help explain why the terror threat in the UK has been raised to “critical”, meaning an attack could be “imminent”.
The prime minister said Tuesday “that the joint terrorism analysis centre, the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available, was keeping the threat level under constant review”.
“It’s now concluded on the basis of today’s investigation that the threat level should be increased for the time being from severe to critical,” she added.
“This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.”
On the 18th of May, four men were arrested in east London on suspicion of plotting an Islamist terror attack. Scotland Yard said the operations were “linked to activity in the UK”.
Last month, an “active plot” was foiled in north London. One woman in an Islamic face veil was shot and four others were arrested. The woman and her mother were later charged with preparing acts of terrorism and plotting murder.
The raids came just hours after a man – said to be inspired by Islamic State – was arrested with a rucksack full of knives near Downing Street.
The man, named as Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, was revealed as having been “born abroad” and has now been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts and unlawful possession of explosive substances.