Police given more time to quiz men over alleged terror plot

West Midlands Police have been given more time to question five men who were arrested last month after a bomb disposal unit examined a property in central Birmingham.

Birmingham Magistrates have given the police an extension allowing the men to be held until September 8 without charge.

Three of the suspects were arrested in Birmingham and held on suspicion of commissioning, preparing, or instigating acts of terrorism, West Midlands Police said.

Another two were arrested in Stoke on Trent. The five men are aged between 18 and 37.

Chief Superintendent Sue Southern, from West Midlands Police, said: “The further warrant of detention allows us to detain the men for another seven days and continue with our investigation.”

Immediately after the arrests of the suspects on Friday 26 August, an army bomb disposal unit examined a property minutes away from the Bullring shopping centre- visited last year by a member of the cell responsible for the attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The police said that after one of the arrests, an army bomb disposal team was called to the Lee Bank area of Birmingham as a precaution.

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Since August 2014 the UK security ranking has remained at “severe”- the second highest level of terrorism alert.

The number of people arrested for terrorist activity hit a record level since last September 2015, an increase of a third on the previous year.

However, more than half of these suspects have not been charged.

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