British police have arrested five people on suspicion of preparing terrorism attacks. Authorities say the arrests are part of an investigation involving Belgium and France.
Officials say three men and a woman were taken into custody in Birmingham Thursday while another man was held at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, from the West Midlands Police, said the arrests were “pre-planned” and “intelligence-led.”
“There was no risk to the public at any time, and there is no information to suggest an attack in the UK was being planned,” Beale said.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the suspects are being held in the West Midlands, where they are being questioned.
“This action forms part of an extensive investigation by the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit, together with the wider counterterrorism network, MI5 and international partners including Belgian and French authorities to address any associated threat to the UK following the attacks in Europe,” Beale said.
The Reuters news agency reported that Belgian Mohamed Abrini, who is suspected of involvement in the Islamic State attacks in Brussels, traveled to Birmingham last year and took photos of a football (soccer) stadium.
Abrini is the alleged “man in the hat,” who was captured on closed-circuit security footage walking alongside the two Brussels airport suicide bombers shortly before their attacks last month. Belgian police arrested Abrini earlier this month.