Counter-terrorism investigators have arrested four men for allegedly preparing acts of terrorism.
Three men were arrested at their homes in east London and another was arrested near his home, police said. The arrests were made at lunchtime, just after midday.
The arrests followed by a joint operation by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command and MI5, the domestic security service. Investigators believe they have disrupted a plot to attack a target in the United Kingdom.
The operation followed heightened activity by counter-terrorism investigators that led to the thwarting of two alleged plots last month in London.
Police said those arrested were aged 18, 24, 25 and 27. The raids have been followed by searches at five homes and one business address in east London.
Police said all those detained were arrested “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
The Met police added: “These arrests were pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation by the Met’s counter-terrorism command and MI5. The arrests are linked to activity in the UK.”
All four men are currently at Southwark police station as the investigation continues.
The arrests in east London would have followed an executive liaison group , which is a special meeting between officers from Scotland Yard’s counter terrorism command and officials from MI5. They would have discussed the balance between allowing the suspects to continue their activities , which could lead to more evidence, versus the risk to public safety.
The terrorism threat in theUK remains at severe, meaning an attack is assessed as being highly likely.
Separately last month on one single day, police made arrests to disrupt two alleged attack plots. In one incident a man was arrested by armed police in Westminster and now faces charges.
Another alleged plot saw armed police raid an address in north west London. During that operation in April and a woman was shot. She and two other women were subsequently charged.