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British authorities break up terror plot
« on: October 14, 2013, 10:14:40 PM »

AP/ October 14, 2013, 8:41 PM
British authorities break up terror plot

The Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 21, 2013. Police in Britain say they have broken up a plot to carry out a similar attack there.

LONDON British law enforcement agencies averted a plot to orchestrate a large-scale terror attack similar to the assault on Kenya's Westgate mall, an official said Monday.

Police were questioning four men in their 20s on suspicion of terrorism after they were detained Sunday in pre-planned, intelligence-led raids.

A British security official said the men were planning a shooting spree akin to the Westgate attack in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people died.

The official - who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media on the record - said it was not clear how advanced the planning was but that any attack was not imminent.

Metropolitan Police did not identify the suspects or say what, if any, charges, they may face. But in a series of statements, the force said the men were all British nationals between the ages of 25 and 29, with roots in Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

The force confirmed that the London police firearms unit took part in the arrests. British police rarely carry weapons and their involvement suggested concern that men might have been armed.

Dramatic CCTV footage has emerged of one of the arrests, in which counter-terror police are seen tackling a suspect on the street in an upscale west London neighborhood.

Elsewhere, police fired special ammunition - aimed at breaching doors or bursting tires - to stop a car near the Tower of London, and arrested two 25-year-old men. Another suspect was arrested in southeast London.

Officers were searching six locations and two vehicles in London following the arrests.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Offline EC

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Re: British authorities break up terror plot
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 06:30:57 AM »
A follow on to this story, from the BBC:

Terror raid: Police continue to quiz London suspects

Eyewitness George Paul: "Three police officers were holding down one man... He was shouting 'please don't break my arm'"

Four British men being held over an alleged terror plot are continuing to be questioned by detectives.

The men - arrested in a series of raids in London on Sunday - are being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Searches are continuing at six addresses and on two vehicles.

Whitehall officials said the alleged Jihadist plot was "serious" and intended to use firearms in the UK.

But they said it did not appear to be on anything like the scale of earlier major plots, such as the airline liquid bomb plot or the Birmingham rucksack bomb plot, which resulted in convictions.
Map showing arrest locations

The men were taken to a south London police station.

Two men, both aged 25, were arrested in a car in Mansell Street, Whitechapel, east London, after police fired "Hatton rounds" - ammunition designed to blow out tyres and blow open doors.

One was a British national of Turkish origin and the second was a British national of Algerian origin, police said.

A 28-year-old British national of Azerbaijani origin was arrested outside the premises of Planet Organic in Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, west London, and the fourth man, a British national of Pakistani origin, aged 29, was arrested in Peckham Hill Street, Peckham, south-east London.
'Monitored for some time'

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the decision to make arrests was taken on Sunday by a joint committee of senior officers from MI5 and the Met Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

As always, they faced a dilemma over whether to hold off longer to gather more potential evidence, while running the risk that the public might be in danger, our correspondent said.

The alleged plot had been monitored for some time, he added.
“Start Quote

    I heard shouting; then I looked outside and saw four cars and they grabbed him”

Ramin Massodi Eyewitness

He also said the four men must either be charged or released within 48 hours unless a magistrate grants a warrant to extend their detention for up to two weeks.

George Paul, who saw the Bayswater arrest, said it had been "very dramatic, like the movies".

"What I saw was three policemen... holding an individual down while he was shouting 'please don't break my arms' or something of that ilk," he told BBC News.

"They were basically trying to restrain him with another few officers ushering people away from the area."


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