AKIPRESS.COM - Security officials believe they have thwarted an alleged plot to assassinate Theresa May by terrorists who would first bomb their way into Downing Street and then kill the prime minister, it has emerged, The Guardian reported.
Two men were arrested last week following a joint operation by MI5, the UK’s counter-terrorism security service, and police.
Security officials believe the alleged Islamist plot is the ninth to have been thwarted since March this year.
The attack on Westminster in March heralded the start of a spate of attacks, with five terrorist atrocities getting through Britain’s defences this year and claiming a total of 36 lives in London and Manchester.
The alleged details of the latest plot emerged as an official report into the terrorist attacks Britain suffered between March and June was released, showing that MI5 had intelligence that could have stopped the Manchester terror attack in May but, with the benefit of hindsight, did not correctly interpret it.
Two men were detained on 28 November following an operation involving MI5 investigators and counter-terrorism police officers from Scotland Yard and the West Midlands. They are aged 20 and 21 and will make their first appearance on Wednesday at Westminster magistrates court in central London.
The Metropolitan police said they had been charged “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism” and they with “engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention”.
Counter-terrorism investigators and the Crown Prosecution Service are bringing the court case. MI5 and police believe the plot would have started with an attack using an improvised bomb at the gates of Downing Street.
The latest plot comes against a backdrop of claims from security officials that Britain is facing a heightened terrorist threat, with the MI5 director-general claiming in a recent speech that it is the worst he has known in his 34-year career.
Britain’s official terrorist threat level is at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely.
At any one time MI5 can actively investigate 3,000 suspects and it has a pool of 20,000 people it has previously examined for signs they are plotting attacks against the UK.