Four men were arrested on terror charges in Northern England Tuesday morning, with reports stating the swoop by counter-terror officers was in relation to a radical Muslim plot.
Five addresses were raided across Sheffield and Chesterfield, with the bomb disposal team deployed to the Chesterfield address. Nearby homes and streets were evacuated “in the interest of public safety”, said officers, with a statement reassuring bangs heard earlier in the day were doors being breached, not gunshots.
Police said the arrested men, all taken into custody under the Terrorism Act 2000 were 22, 36, 31, and 41 years old.
Police said “The arrests were intelligence led and pre planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East and MI5.”
Terror arrests in Britain have surged almost 70 per cent to new record high. https://t.co/krndyc4rXI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 14, 2017
While official police spokesmen have not given further details on the backgrounds of the men or the nature of the planned attack, Britain’s ITV news reports police have today foiled “a suspected Islamist terror plot”.
Speaking of the arrests, Derbyshire Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “We of course understand that police activity of this nature can be unsettling. However, please be reassured; the arrest we wanted to make has been made. Our advice remains to be vigilant, which is not different to our day-to-day advice in the current climate, but continue to go about your business as usual.”
The arrests come in the run-up to Christmas at a time of heightened awareness of radical Islamic terror plots, and on the first anniversary of the Jihad attack against the Berlin Christmas market which saw 12 killed.
Earlier in December the director general of MI5 admitted that while five terror attacks had slipped the net and taken place on British soil in 2017, the security services had managed to prevent a further nine from taking place. 35 have been killed in terror attacks in the UK in 2017.