We’ve all been following the ongoing investigations and arrests surrounding the terror attacks in Brussels last month and Paris last November. So far, the focus has been on Belgium and France.
But today, authorities in the U.K. have announced what they’re calling five “significant” arrests connected with the investigation into the Brussels and Paris attacks — including one just arrested this morning at London’s Gatwick Airport. All five are being held on suspicion of being involved in “the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”
Five people have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences as part of an investigation launched after the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, West Midlands Police say.
Three men, aged 26, 40 and 59, and a 29-year-old woman, were arrested in Birmingham on Thursday night.
A fourth man, 26, was arrested at Gatwick Airport in the early hours of Friday. All five are from Birmingham.
Whitehall officials described the arrests as “significant”.
Police say they worked with MI5 and Belgian and French authorities in an operation “to address any associated threat to the UK following the attacks in Europe”.
They said there was no risk to the public at any time and they had no information to suggest an attack in the UK was being planned.
It is understood that the 26-year-old man arrested at Gatwick Airport had just arrived on a flight into the UK. It is thought the flight originated from North Africa.
Police said all those arrested are being held in the West Midlands on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who leads on counter-terrorism for the force, said the operation was part of an “extensive investigation”, and the arrests were “pre-planned and intelligence-led”.
The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner said Whitehall officials described the operation as “significant”.
These were the first arrests in the UK connected with the investigation into the attacks in Brussels in March and Paris last November, he said.
It has been reported that one of the ringleaders of the Brussels attacks, Mohamed Abrini, visited the UK last year. BBC Panorama heard from a source in Interpol that he had visited the country.
All five people arrested were held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
The arrests were made five months after the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead.
With each arrest made in the investigation surrounding the Paris and Brussels attacks only further confirms the expanding web of terror ISIS appears to be building across the globe — and, it appears, establishing a new foothold in the West.
Tragically, it’s Europe’s hyper-politically correct policies that have allowed immigration to spiral out of control, unchecked, and allowed non-assimilation of large segments of its population — resulting in terror hotbeds such as the now-infamous Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels, one of many such ‘hoods that now exist in Europe.
And to think, the United States under President Obama seems to be following right in Europe’s footsteps…
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]