Police investigating terror threats to the U.K. made five arrests on Thursday night and Friday morning, in what government officials call “significant.”
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) April 15, 2016
West Midlands Police: Four people have been arrested in Birmingham & one man arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) April 15, 2016
Counter-terrorism officers held a 26-year-old man at Gatwick Airport in the early hours Friday and arrested four suspects in Birmingham on Thursday evening.
The five people, including three men aged 26, 40 and 59, and a 29-year-old woman, were being questioned by West Midlands counter-terrorism officers on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale of the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit, said: “This action forms part of an extensive investigation by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, together with the wider counter-terrorism network, MI5 and international partners including Belgian and French authorities to address any associated threat to the U.K. following the attacks in Europe.
“The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led. There was no risk to the public at any time and there is no information to suggest an attack in the UK was being planned.”
Five arrested in Birmingham and at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of terror activities, West Midlands Police say https://t.co/21mdS2eTJv
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 15, 2016
Mohamed Abrini, the prime suspect in last month’s bombings in Belgium, is said to have visited Birmingham four months prior to the Brussels airport and metro terror attacks.
Police also said a number of properties in Birmingham are being searched.