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Two held on terror offence after being stopped in car near Buckingham Palace

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Two men have been arrested on suspicion of planning terror acts after they were seen acting suspiciously in a car.

Armed police stopped them in the heart of London in the early hours of this morning.

Scotland Yard said officers had seen them acting suspiciously in a car in the Westminster area at around 12.10am.

They were stopped and arrested on Pall Mall, which lies just minutes from Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street and Piccadilly Circus.

Police officers searched the men – two 34-year-olds from east London – and the car.

They were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

The two men remain in custody at a central London police station.

Police said no firearms were discharged.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Every day, police officers are on patrol across the capital, watching for suspicious behaviour and stopping people they suspect may be involved in criminality.

“The public can help us continue to keep London safe by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviour to police.

“Following the increase to the UK threat level from terrorism last week – as a precautionary measure in response to recent events in France and Austria – I would like to emphasise that the public should be alert but not alarmed."

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The investigation is being led by the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command.

Last week, the UK terror threat level was escalated from "substantial" to "severe".

It means an attack on British soil is now deemed "highly likely".

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the decision was a "precautionary measure", after Islamist terror attacks in Austria and France.

  • Westminster
  • Terror
  • Police

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