Theresa May terror plot foiled

| 06.12,17. 12:53 PM |


Theresa May terror plot foiled



British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London. Photo: AP

The security services have foiled an alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister in Downing Street, it emerged on Tuesday night.

The extremist Islamist plot involved a bomb attack on Downing Street, the prime minister's residence, and an attempt to kill May in the ensuing chaos, Sky reported.

men have been charged with terror offences and are due to appear in Westminster magistrates' court.

There was no official response to the report, which comes hours after police said they had charged two men with terrorist offences.

Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, were arrested in raids by counter-terrorism police last week and are due to appear in a London court on Wednesday.

Details of the alleged terror plot were set out to Cabinet members on Tuesday during a briefing by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5. During the meeting Mr Parker revealed that British intelligence had foiled nine terror plots in the past 12 months.

The disclosures about the charges came just hours after an official report into the Manchester terror attack revealed that the suicide bomber had been flagged for closer scrutiny by security services and that the atrocity could have been averted "had the cards fallen differently".

MI5 investigators misinterpreted intelligence on Salman Abedi earlier this year and it was disclosed his case was due to be discussed at a meeting scheduled for nine days after his May attack at the Manchester Arena.

Internal reviews into the police and MI5's handling of the four terrorist attacks in Britain this year also revealed one of the London Bridge attackers had been under active investigation by the Security Service.

The Westminster Bridge attacker, Khalid Masood, had also watched suicide attack videos on YouTube in the days before he carried out his assault.

David Anderson QC, a former terrorism law reviewer asked by the Home Secretary to independently check the secret internal reviews, said they were "no cause for despair" and that most attack plots continued to be broken up.

In response to his 61-page report, Amber Rudd said the blame for the attacks "lies squarely" with the terrorists.

The reviews found that 22-year-old Abedi had previously been a MI5 suspect, but was not under active investigation when he blew himself up among the crowd at an Ariana Grande concert.

In advance of the attack, officers had on two separate occasions received unspecified intelligence on him "whose significance was not fully appreciated at the time" and which could have led to his case being reopened.

"In retrospect, the intelligence can be seen to have been highly relevant to the planned attack," the report said.

Mr Anderson concluded that while it was "unknowable" if reopening the investigation would have thwarted Abedi, it was "conceivable that the Manchester attack in particular might have been averted had the cards fallen differently".

Between March and June, London and Manchester experienced four attacks killing a total of 36 people and wounding another 200.

Telegraph, UK, DPA,SMH


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