Heavily armed British cops are now sweeping London searching for suspects involved in Jihad plots..
Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Officers (CTOs) continued on Tuesday to search suspected addresses of terrorists following a pre-planned intelligence operation that began on Sunday evening in Great Britain's city of London, according to officials with the Metropolitan Police Service.
On Sunday, four Muslim men were arrested on suspicion of commission, preparation or instigation of terrorists acts as covered by the United Kingdom's Terrorism Act 2000. Some of the police officers were armed with 12-gauge shotguns that used "Hatton rounds" against the suspected Islamists fleeing in an automobile.
The suspects were all taken to a south London police station and they remain in police custody. Officers from the elite MPS Firearms Unit were involved in the capture of the suspected terrorists.
MPS officials said that the alleged Jihadist plot was "serious" and the terrorists planned to use firearms in their United Kingdom attacks.
But police said the plot was not as extensive as earlier major plots, such as the airline liquid bomb plot or the Birmingham rucksack (backpack) bomb plot, which resulted in the convictions of the Jihadists.
Two suspects, both aged 25, were arrested in an automobile in Whitechapel, in east London, after police officers fired "Hatton rounds" -- ammunition designed to blow out the car's tires and blow open its doors.
According to elite UK forces, these special 12-gauge shotgun rounds are designed for door-breaching operations. The Special Air Service (SAS) special forces units, Britain's version of the Navy SEALs, use Hatton rounds to shoot hinges and locks off of locked doors. The Hatton round is a mixture of compressed gun or zinc powder and wax and is formulated to cause only localized damage without passing through the door and hitting a hostage.
One of the suspects was of Turkish origin and the second was of Algerian origin, police said.
A 28-year-old suspect of Azerbaijani origin was arrested at premises in west London, and the fourth man, a 30-year-old Pakistani, was arrested in southeast London.
Scotland Yard officials would not discuss the actual terrorist plot or the targets selected for the attack or attacks, but they are continuing the counterterrorism operation.
While the British Security Service MI5 states they do not discuss intelligence and security matters with the news media its director general, Andrew Parker, gave a speech last week at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on the continuing threat of terrorism and how the Security Service and its sister agencies are adapting to respond.
Parker highlighted the enduring and diversifying threat from al-Qaeda and its imitators. MI5 noted that:
"In addition to day-to-day criminal activity, the Metropolitan Police must deal with unique challenges that other cities in the UK do not face to the same degree, including public order events, as well as the threats posed by organized [crime] and terrorists. The reputation of London as a safe city and a stable place to invest and grow depends upon an effective response to the whole host of crime and disorder challenges that we encounter," said London Mayor Boris Johnson.
"... the work of MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the police in countering the threat of terrorism and emphasized the extent to which the [MI5] is accountable. In concluding his speech, he commented on a number of challenges that MI5 will face in the future, including rapid changes in technology and the growth of new electronic means of communications."
October 16, 2013