Police have foiled an alleged Islamist terror plot in the UK after raiding a suspected bomb making factory in the East Midlands.
Six people were arrested when counter-terrorism officers swooped on addresses in Derby, Burton upon Trent and London in the early hours of Monday morning.
Bomb disposal experts also attended one property amid fears that the alleged plotters were storing chemicals and other explosive materials ahead of a planned attack on a UK target.
Security chiefs ordered the raids after receiving intelligence that a terror plot was being planned in the East Midlands region.
Police confirmed the arrests were all linked to "international related terrorism" and it is thought they were inspired by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), which has increasingly sought to export its murderous tactics to Britain.
The first arrest took place on Sunday night when a worker at a chicken factory was arrested at a warehouse in the Ashbourne area of Derby. Workers at the Moy Park Poultry factory described how armed police had stormed into the unit and detained the worker, who was described as "popular but quiet".
Several hours later armed officers moved into the Normanton area of Derby, close to the city centre, where they raided a semi-detached property, which was thought to consist of four rented bedsits. The property is just half-a-mile from the former home of British suicide bomber Kabir Ahmed.
The landlord of the house, Ravi Kumar, was unaware of the arrests when contacted on Monday night, but claimed that the property was occupied by an ever-changing list of asylum seekers put there by a housing association.
Mr Kumar, who is the brother of Ashok Kumar, the former Labour MP who died suddenly at the age of 53 shortly before the 2010 general election, said there was a "constant change of people" and that the terms of the housing association's lease meant that he had little to do with them.
Security sources have claimed that their target may have been a shopping centre in the run up to Christmas.
One suspect said to be an asylum seeker who may not have been in Britain for long. No guns or explosive devices have been found, but police have recovered a large number of phones and computers that they hope will contain more evidence of the suspects’ activities.
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