More terror arrests in UK ahead of Olympic

London: Stepping up vigil ahead of the Olympic Games here, British police today announced that seven men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after officers found weapons hidden in a car during a routine search. The men were arrested during raids in the West Midlands over the past three days, police said, a day after six people, including a woman, were arrested in Stratford near the Olympics stadium.

One of those arrested on Thursday was Jahangir Alom, a former police community support officer of Bangladeshi origin. His two brothers, Moybur Alom and Alomgir Alom, were also arrested. Among the six was Richard Dart, a white man who had converted to Islam some time ago, and used the new name Salahuddin Al Britani. Their names were revealed by neighbours to the media.

The West Midlands police today said that another seven men were arrested after weapons were found hidden in a car. They included six from the West Midlands and one from West Yorkshire, who were detained over three days. The police said that the car was stopped on the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire on Saturday, and a search revealed firearms, offensive weapons and other material inside.

The police arrested the driver, passenger and others on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. Three men aged 23, 26 and 27 from Sparkhill, Birmingham, were arrested on Tuesday morning, while a 22-year-old from Alum Rock, Birmingham, a 24-year-old from Moseley and a 22-year-old from Smethwick, West Midlands, were arrested on Wednesday evening.

A 43-year old man from Kirklees, West Yorkshire, was arrested on Thursday. Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "As soon as the items were discovered in the impounded vehicle, our priority was to protect the public by pursuing and arresting those we believed to be involved." All seven men are being held at a police station in the West Midlands. The arrests came as London geared up to host the Olympics from July 27 to August 12.