Four men from the Midlands have been charged with planning terrorist acts after a major security operation saw the bomb squad called to examine suspect material in a central Birmingham property.
The men were arrested on 26 August in a series of raids in Birmingham and Stoke and counter-terrorism officials believe they may have disrupted a plot to attack Britain which was possibly imminent.
Each of the four charged men is accused of preparing terrorist acts between 26 May and 27 August 2016.
The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service on Thursday and come amid a heightened fear of an attack on the United Kingdom. Police said one man aged 18 who was arrested in Birmingham had been released without charge.
Also on Thursday, a separate inquiry unconnected to the Birmingham case resulted in London police arresting two men aged 19 and 20 allegedly involved in preparing an act of terrorism.
Those charged are two Birmingham men, Naweed Ali, 28, and Khobaib Hussain, 24, both of Evelyn Road, Sparkhill. The others – Mohibur Rahman, 31, and Tahir Aziz, 37 – are both from Stoke.
Police said the four men would appear at Westminster magistrates court on Friday charged with preparing for terrorist acts, contrary to Section 5 (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
That section says A person commits an offence if, with the intention of … committing acts of terrorism … he engages in any conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention.
The arrests in the Midlands led to the examination of premises in Lee Bank, Birmingham, involving the Army bomb disposal team from the Royal Logistic Corps, who used a robot device. Police said the searches concluded four days after they started.
In Thursday’s counter-terrorism operation, the two men were arrested at an address in west London as part of a joint operation by police and MI5.
Scotland Yard said a 19-year-old was detained on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism and a 20-year-old was held on suspicion of funding terrorism and failing to disclose information regarding a planned act of terrorism.
The 20-year-old was also held on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism under a separate investigation by the south-east counter-terrorism unit.
A third man, 19, was detained in south-east London on suspicion of a religiously aggravated offence, which officials described as being in relation to a separate matter.
Police said searches of addresses and vehicles were being carried out in the Thames Valley as well as in west and south-east London.
The government has previously claimed that seven plots linked to Islamist terrorists have been foiled in Britain since 2014, directly linked by officials to the rise of Islamic State. Since August 2014, Britain has been at its second highest level of terror alert – severe – meaning an attack is highly likely.
News Source TheGuardianNews