Four men have been arrested on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks in early morning raids by counter-terrorism police. A bomb squad was later called to one of the properties.
Officers from the North-East Counter Terrorism Unit (NECTU) arrested three of the men, aged 22, 36 and 41, at different addresses in Sheffield on Tuesday. A fourth man, 31, was arrested at a property in Chesterfield.
An “enormous bang” was heard as officers swooped into the property, a neighbor has said. A Nectu spokeswoman, however, said the noise heard by the public was not an explosion but “part of a method to gain entry to the property,” the BBC reports.
“The arrests were intelligence-led and pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East,” said a police spokesperson. “We recognize that local people may have concerns as a result of this activity. We would ask people to remain alert but not alarmed and we are grateful for the assistance and understanding of people locally.
“Residents will be kept as informed as possible and we are grateful for their understanding, patience and support while these enquiries continue,” they added.
The arrested men, who are thought to have Islamist links, were detained on suspicion being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000.
They have been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire while searches at the properties continue.
Carol Perry, who lives two doors from the scene, told the BBC: “I was asleep and then I was woken suddenly by an enormous bang, and the house shook.
"It didn’t wake the children, actually, which I was really surprised about but quite relieved. My immediate thought was that it was an earthquake.”
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