A report by Sky News said police believed there was a plan to launch an improvised explosive device at Downing Street and, in the chaos that ensued, attack and kill Theresa May.
Two men related to the attempt were arrested last week following a joint operation by MI5, the UK’s counter-terrorism security service, and police. The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that the arrested men have been charged with terrorism offences and will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. It also said in a statement that the men were arrested by its Counter-Terrorism Command on 28 November.
Britain has been on high alert facing multiple terrorist attacks the past year. Britain’s official terrorist threat level is at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. On Tuesday Sky News reported that security officials foiled a terror plot hatched to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sky’s Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: “It’s the latest in a number of terror plots that police and MI5 believe they’ve foiled this year.
I understand that the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, briefed Cabinet ministers today, such is the seriousness of what they believed they have uncovered.
It is, in essence, an extreme Islamist suicide plot against Downing Street. Essentially police believe that the plan was to launch some sort of improvised explosive device at Downing Street and in the ensuing chaos attack and kill Theresa May, the Prime Minister.
This is something which has been pursued over several weeks at least by Scotland Yard, MI5 and West Midlands Police.
It came to a head last week with the arrest of two men, by armed police, who were charged with preparing acts of terrorism.”
According to The Telegraph, details of the alleged terror plot were given to Cabinet members on Tuesday during a briefing by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.
The report also said that between March and June, there had been four terror attacks in London and Manchester which killed 36 people and injured another 200.
A Timeline of Terror Attacks in Britain Since 2013
2017: 19 June
A van mounts the pavement at Finsbury Park and drives into a group of Muslim worshippers praying during the holy month of Ramadan.
2017: 3 June
A white van hit pedestrians on London Bridge. Three men then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people near Borough Market. The suspects were shot dead by police, minutes later. The attack left seven people dead and 48 injured.
2017: 22 May
A male suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, 22, targeted children and young adults at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. The bombing left 22 people dead and 59 injured.
2017: 22 March
A terror attack near the Houses of Parliament left Six people, including the attacker, dead, and 50 people injured. The terrorist Khalid Masood mounted the pavement in a hired car and drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He then ran towards the Parliament and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead by officers.
2016: 16 June
Thomas Mair shot and stabbed to death Labour MP Jo Cox in Birstall, West Yorkshire. Mair, who accessed extremist websites and was an avid reader of far-right literature, shouted: “Britain first,” in the attack. He is serving a whole life sentence for the murder.
2015: 5 December
A man attacked Tube passengers with a knife at Leytonstone station in east London. Muhiddin Mire shouted: “This is for my Syrian brothers, I’m going to spill your blood,” before he was finally subdued. Mire, who had a history of mental illness, was jailed for life. The judge at his trial said he had been driven by “Islamic extremism”.
2013: 22 May
British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, south-east London by Islamic extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. The men drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before attacking him with a knife. Adebolajo is serving a whole-life term and Adebowale is jailed for a minimum of 45 years.