Arrest made in kidnap terror plot in UK
Eight people have been arrested under the Terrorism Act in Birmingham after a "significant" operation involving police and security service MI5.Well they usually are. This graphic gives the locations of the arrests. Reuters describes the arrest as an anti terrorism case where the accused are charged with planning an "Iraq" style terror kidnapping/execution which suggest some kind of video beheading. According to the Telegraph:
A number of addresses in the city have been sealed off after morning raids.
Senior security sources have told the BBC the raids were targeting a kidnap plot rather than one aimed at causing mass casualties.
The six-month operation involved the Midlands counter terrorism unit, West Midlands Police and the Met Police.
BBC correspondent Gordon Corera said the plot was thought to involve "some kind of kidnapping - possibly of an individual".
...The Guardian says the plot was mainly a mass PR effort as oppose to a typical mass murder attack. The Independent says the plotters were interested in taking an ordinary citizen for the maximum terror effect. The Daily Mail says the plot was to kidnap a Muslim soldier.
The Home Office said the raids were part of a "major" nationwide operation, and security sources claimed an imminent terror attack had been thwarted.
The alleged attack, said to be in the later stages of planning, would have mirrored the kidnappings of British hostages Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan by Iraqi insurgents.
It is not yet clear whether the alleged terrorists planned to capture a high-profile figure or a member of the public.
If the reports are true, this would be a major departure from previous Islamist attacks in the West, which have been characterised by co-ordinated explosions aimed at causing high numbers of casualties.
It is understood that anti-terror officers had been conducting a surveillance operation for several months.
Local people reported seeing dozens of police in the streets in the early hours of this morning.
...That is an interesting twist to a twisted plot. Let's see. In order to gain sympathy for Muslims the Muslim terrorist were going to kidnap a Muslim soldier and kill him on video. No, sympathy was not the goal of this plot, It was strictly to terrorize and intimidate Muslim soldiers in particular.
The victim would have been filmed, made to plead for his life and ultimately executed, sources alleged.
Sources said a target for the alleged plot had already been identified.
He was a young Muslim soldier in the British army who had served in Afghanistan.