Former PCSO among six arrested in anti-terror raids across London
Thursday 05 July 2012
Six people including three living just over a mile from the Olympic site and a former police community support officer have been arrested over a suspected terror plot.
The alleged plan involved Islamist extremists with potential targets in the UK, but was not linked to the Olympics, it is understood.
Today's arrests were part of a pre-planned intelligence-led operation by the Metropolitan Police counter-terror command along with armed officers, but the threat was not thought to be imminent.
Five men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and were being held at a south-east London police station, police said.
Three of the men, believed to be members of the same Bangladeshi family, were arrested in a raid on a house in Stratford, east London.
One, aged 24, was Tasered during his arrest but did not require hospital treatment, the Met spokesman added. The others were aged 18 and 26.
Neighbours said the occupants had been there for more than a year and there were frequently people coming and going from the property.
They spoke of seeing men in Muslim-style robes and a woman in a burka.
Trainee taxi driver Stephen Maguire, 23, said he heard the police from his bedroom in Eastbourne Road, which overlooks the front of the house.
"I heard the biggest bang ever and I saw a massive cloud of smoke and torches going up at the windows," he said.
"It sounded like they were gunshots but they weren't."
In Ealing, west London, a 29-year-old man was arrested in the street, and a 21-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were held at separate residential premises.
Some of those held are understood to be British nationals, and one is a former police community support officer.
A spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said: "One of the men arrested by the Counter Terror Command today served as a PCSO for the MPS from May 2007 to September 2009 when he resigned.
"He was not deployed in any specialist or sensitive roles."
The force said that eight residential premises in east, west and north London and one business premises in east London were being searched.
The arrests come after Jonathan Evans, the director-general of the Security Service, warned last month that Britain had experienced a "credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11".
"In back rooms and in cars and on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here," he added.
"The threat is real and remains with us today."
The threat to the UK from international terrorism is currently rated substantial - the third highest of five levels.
The rating is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (Jtac), based at MI5's headquarters at Thames House in central London, but is independent of the service.
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1