British police have arrested eight men in a series of dawn raids in Birmingham, in what they are calling a major counter-terrorism operation. All the men were arrested on “suspicion of commission, preparation, or instigation of acts of terrorism.” A number of locations in the city, including homes, an Islamic bookshop, and businesses, have been sealed off. Police are saying the swoops were part of a nationwide operation.
It appears that the arrests were made after several weeks of surveillance by security forces; although there is no indication as yet any dangerous materials have been found. Reports suggest the men were planning to kidnap a British Muslim soldier, and then film his beheading for release on the internet. Just over a week ago five men were arrested in Halifax and Manchester, also under anti-terrorism laws.