Four arrested in London raids over alleged terrorist plot as police blow out tyres of car carrying two suspects

Group of men had been under surveillance by police and MI5 following intelligence reports that they were planning to carry out attack

Defence Correspondent

Four men have been arrested over an alleged terrorist plot after police carried out raids across London and blew out the tyres of a car carrying two of the suspects.

A group of men, who were said to have had access to an arms cache, had been under surveillance by police and MI5 for some time following intelligence reports that they were planning to carry out an attack.

The focus of the plot was said to be on the capital and, although serious, was not, it is believed, at the highest end of those the intelligence and security services have had to deal with in recent times. They denied reports that it involved a “Nairobi-style” assault.

The two men dragged out of the car after the use of “Hatton Rounds” – large shotgun ammunition used to stop vehicles and blow the hinges off doors – by officers in Mansell Street, Whitechapel, east London were British nationals of Turkish and Algerian descent. Two other UK citizens, of Azerbaijani and Pakistani origin, aged were held respectively at Westbourne Grove, Bayswater and Peckham, south-east London.

The Westbourne Grove arrest was carried out as a man left an Iranian restaurant, the Alounak. George Paul, 30, who saw the incident, said: “The man was shouting something like, ‘Please don’t break my arms, please don’t hurt me.’ He was cuffed-up and pushed up against the front of the restaurant. There was a lot of shouting from people, but some of them might have been passers-by.”

City of London council member John Fletcher, who lives near Whitechapel’s Mansell Street, said he initially heard two loud bangs which he believed to be fireworks and went to investigate. Neighbour Catherine Delgado, 43, who saw the incident, said “five or six” cars surrounded one vehicle, blocking off the street.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor