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British arrests linked to terror threat: police

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-13 00:27

LONDON - The arrest of six people held in a swoop by police in London and central England are linked to international related terrorism, police said Monday afternoon.

Six properties are being searched in Derby, Burton-on-Trent and London, with an army bomb disposal team called to a suburb of Derby.

The police's North East Counter Terrorism Unit said five men and a 32-year-old woman from London were arrested in early morning raids and were now being questioned at police stations.

In statements from the police, there are no indications about whether the arrests had averted an imminent terror attack on the British mainland.
Some media reports in Britain quoted unnamed counter-terrorism sources as describing the arrests as significant and part of an ongoing investigation into a group believed to be working towards a terror attack.

Four of the men arrested are from Derby and the fifth is from Burton-on-Trent. They range in age from 22 to 36.

A number of roads in Derby have been closed by police, but so far none of the residents have been evacuated from their homes. All of the properties where the arrests took place have been cordoned off by police.

The arrests come just days after the head of Britain's intelligence service MI6 warned in a rare public appearance that Britain faced an unprecedented level of terrorism at the moment.

In a statement, the police terrorism unit said: "As a result of the arrests today, an Army Bomb Disposal Team has been called in as a precautionary measure to the Normanton area of Derby. No houses have been evacuated...The arrests are linked to International related terrorism."

The police said the six people had all been arrested on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

"This is an ongoing investigation led by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit supported by local officers from Derbyshire, Staffordshire and the Metropolitan Police," said a police spokeswoman.

"We recognize that local people may have concerns as a result of these arrests and local officers will be out in the area as usual to speak to anyone who may have concerns. We would ask people to remain alert and vigilant, but not to be alarmed."

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