Ex-police employee among six held over terror plot

London arrests include three a mile from Olympic site – but authorities insist no threat to Games

Six people including a former police community support officer and a white Muslim convert were arrested in a series of raids yesterday in connection with a suspected terrorist plot against potential targets in Britain.

Three brothers, aged 18, 24 and 26, were arrested about a mile from the main Olympics site in east London but police said the planned operation was not linked to the Games or the Paralympics.

Two other men and a woman were arrested in west London. According to reports one of the men was a white Muslim convert who has appeared in a YouTube video railing against Britain's role in Afghanistan and the Royal family. Last year the same man named in reports appeared on a BBC documentary called My Brother the Islamist.

Police declined to give details on any suspected targets before the intelligence-led operation yesterday but said that an attack was not imminent.

The 24-year-old was shot with a Taser at Abbey Road, Stratford, by the Metropolitan police counter-terror command but did not need any hospital treatment, Scotland Yard said.

One of the brothers had been a police community support officer (PCSO) for more than two years until he resigned in September 2009.

"He was not deployed in a specialist or sensitive role," said a Scotland Yard spokeswoman. PCSOs do not have the full powers of warranted police officers but are often used for high-visibility patrolling.

Neighbours said the family had been living there for more than a year, and that people frequently came and went from the house wearing Muslim clothing. A blue police tent covered the door of the house yesterday.

Stephen Maguire, 23, who witnessed the operation from his bedroom overlooking the front of the house, said: "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."

Another eyewitness to the Stratford raid, Mark Window, told the BBC he had been woken up by an explosion just after 4am. "I looked out my window, saw loads of mini-explosions going off still, loads of black-clad figures milling around," he said.

"One was halfway up a ladder, through a window, and you realise it's some sort of police operation going on instead of kids messing about with fireworks which is what you think when you first wake up."

Another local in Stratford , who asked not to be named, described the men as "good people".

"They are religious and they go to the mosque," she said. "They are usual Muslim young boys."

The 29-year-old man, was arrested in a street in Ealing, west London, and another man, aged 21, and a woman of 30 were arrested at homes nearby.

Searches under the Terrorism Act were being carried out at eight homes around the city and at a business premise in east London. Scotland Yard declined to state the nature of the business. All those arrested were being questioned at a police station in southeast London.

The arrests come after Jonathan Evans, the director general of the Security Service, warned last month that Britain had faced 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.

Sport
formula oneLive lap-by-lap coverage of championship decider
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin