Police said they arrested three of the men last Tuesday, three on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. The car had been stopped on a major highway earlier in the week and impounded for not carrying insurance. According to the police, they discovered two unloaded, non-automatic guns and a small amount of ammunition hidden in the vehicle along with “offensive weapons and other material.” This led the police to trace and arrest the driver, passenger and other suspects. The detainees are being held on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks.
Police said the seven arrests are not connected to the previous arrest of six people who were also suspected of planning attacks. Authorities say neither group had plans to attack the upcoming Olympic Games, which begin in London later this month.
The arrests took place just after transport officials implemented special “games lanes” on prime London roads that will be utilized only by Olympic athletes, officials and VIPs, heightening the public’s awareness that the long-awaited Olympics is about to begin.
The terror alert in Britain is currently set at “substantial,” meaning there is a strong possibility of a terrorist attack as London prepares to host the Olympics. Security officials say they have no specific intelligence saying the Olympics will be targeted.
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron insisted there was no unusual cause for concern due to the successive arrests in the immediate period before the Summer Games. “We have been looking at the issue of security at the Olympics for some time and we have robust plans in place,” he stated.
Voice of America contributed to this report.