06032015Headline:

London Isil Attack “Foiled”

The first alleged Isil-linked terror plot on UK soil has been foiled by police  and MI5 amid fears jihadists are returning from Syria to carry out   beheadings on British streets.

Four men were arrested in dramatic armed raids in London during which one   suspect had to be Tasered by police.

The men are feared to have been in the “early stages” of planning a   “significant” attack and it is understood one line of inquiry is whether   they wanted to emulate the sort of brutal execution that has become Isil’s   hallmark on a British street.

Police and intelligence agencies have become increasingly concerned that the   terror group, which has already beheaded four Western hostages, is   encouraging similar attacks overseas.

Fears have heightened further after the UK joined air strikes against the   terrorists.

During the same month, Algerian fanatics linked to Isil beheaded kidnapped   French tourist Herve Gourdel in revenge for French air strikes in Iraq.

In August the UK terror threat level was raised to “severe” – its second   highest – as David Cameron warned Isil was planning attacks on the UK.

The Telegraph understands one of the men arrested had returned from Syria and   had links with Isil – possibly as a fighter there.

It came as Mr Cameron demanded former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg   revealed what he knows of the terror group.

Mr Begg, who had terror charges against him dropped last week, said he   believed he knew who the senior members of Isil that held British hostage   Alan Henning and others were.

He said he did not know who their suspected British executioner – dubbed   “Jihadi John” – was but suggested those in control were higher up the   ladder.

Mr Cameron said: “If Moazzam Begg has information to provide about who these   people are, he should provide it.”

Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism officers, supported by armed officers,   raided a number of addresses in west and central London, including the   Ladbroke Grove area.

Four men, two aged 21 and two aged 20, were arrested on suspicion of planning   or instigating a terror attack.

One of the 21-year-olds was Tasered by an officer during the arrest but was   not injured or required medical treatment.

The four men were being questioned at police stations in central London and   officers were searching a number of homes and vehicles across the city.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “These arrests and searches are part of an   ongoing investigation into Islamist related terrorism.”

The men had been monitored in a joint police and MI5 operation for some time   and one Whitehall source said the raids were an “early disruption”   of what could have been a “significant plot”.

Police would not discuss the specific nature of the alleged plot but it is   understood part of the investigation will look at the possibility of a   public beheading.

Other possible plans may be random killings in public places or some form of   small arms attack.

Isil, led by fanatic Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has demonstrated its brutality with   the beheading of four Western hostages in Syria and broadcasting the murders   in videos.

They included the deaths of Britons David Haines and Alan Henning who had gone   to the country to help Muslims.

The terror group, which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria, has   also attracted thousands of foreign jihadists to its cause, including more   than 500 Britons.

Around half of those are believed to have returned home and intelligence   agencies are concerned some may have been sent back to carry out attacks   here.

In August, Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister, warned Isil posed the “greatest   and deepest” terror threat in Britain’s history.

He spoke as the threat level was raised to severe, meaning an attack is   “highly likely” in light of the growing danger from British jihadists   returning from Iraq and Syria.

He said the risk posed by Isil would last for “decades” and raised   the prospect of an expanding terrorist nation “on the shores of the   Mediterranean”.

He warned he was “absolutely satisfied that Isil has specific threats and   will make specific threats to the UK”.

The Prime Minister said: “It was clear evidence that this is not some   foreign conflict thousands of miles from home that we can hope to ignore.   The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria   is a threat to our own security here in the UK.”

Counter terrorist police activity is now at its highest level since the 7/7   London bombings in 2005 because of the fears of such attacks.

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