British arrest 12 said to be plotting terror attack

In a series of raids early Monday morning, police in Britain have detained 12 men on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack, reports GlobalPost’s Michael Goldfarb.

Details are sketchy, he writes. What is known is the men were all between the ages of 18 and 28. The raids were carried out in London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent.

The men are mostly British although several are believed to be from Bangladesh.

In a statement, Assistant Commissioner John Yates of the Metropolitan Police, who runs the anti-terrorism unit at Scotland yard, said: “The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the suspected offenses.”

The arrests come a week after a British-based suicide bomber attacked a busy shopping area in Stockholm, Sweden. The man, Iraq-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, killed himself but failed to harm anyone else. Police said today’s raids are not related.

It is not uncommon for police in this country to stage this kind of wide-spread operation. According to the BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardiner, around 30 percent of those detained on this sort of operation are ultimately convicted of terrorist offenses.

Germany warned on Nov. 17 of “concrete indications” of a series of looming attacks, and travel alerts in October from the U.S. and Japan of terror threats across Europe.

Britain’s terror level threat is at “severe,” the second-highest rating, meaning a high likelihood of attack.

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