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Two people arrested suspected of terrorism offences

West Midlands Counter Terrorism officers have arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism in the UK. The pair, aged 24 and 23, were arrested in Reading and Wokingham at 7.30pm this evening.

Officers say the pair didn't pose an imminent threat to the public.

Campaign to get public involved in tackling terrorism

West Midlands Police is launching a security workshop to help local businesses join them in the fight against terrorism.

Businesses will be told how to become more aware of terrorism threats Credit: PA

A range of activities to raise awareness of the threat from violent extremism will focus on five key areas: crowded places, transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, terrorist financing, and the tools that terrorists need to operate.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, from West Midlands Police, will tell an audience of business representatives in Birmingham this morning that the recent increase in the terrorism threat level demonstrates the need for everyone to work together to tackle terrorism.

Experience from around the world shows us that terrorists will target busy, crowded places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact.

Businesses, particularly those in town and city centres, have an invaluable role to play in preventing potential attacks. Staff working in shops and entertainment centres are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.

We need everyone to be vigilant to things that are out of place or look suspicious, and then feel confident to come forward and report it to the police.

We are encouraging businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if the worst should happen, respond to an attack.

– Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, West Midlands Police

EDL terror plot: Islamic extremists due to be sentenced

Six men from Birmingham are due to be sentenced for preparing to carry out an attack on a rally of the right wing group the English Defence League.

The men pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on an English Defence League rally Credit: PA

The men only failed in their deadly plan because the gathering in Dewsbury in West Yorkshire finished earlier than expected.

Jewel Uddin, 27, Omar Mohammed Khan, 31, Mohammed Hasseen, 24, Anzal Hussain, 25, Mohammed Saud, 23, and Zohaib Ahmed, 22, all from Birmingham, are all due to appear at the Old Bailey.

Their sentencing comes amid fresh publicity surrounding the EDL in the wake of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, and increased tensions between various political and religious factions.


Terror trial: police thanks community for support

Today's sentencing of terror suspects from Birmingham brings to an end two years of work for officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

Known as Operation Pitsford, the case was one of the largest counter terrorism investigations since 2006 when terrorists planned to blow-up transatlantic flights.

The substantial sentences, particularly for the three most serious offenders, reflect the threat these men posed to public safety. Their aim was clear – to cause death and mass casualties.

Today is the culmination of two years work for the police, Security Service and the CPS. As a result, these men are behind bars and no longer a risk.

The local community has condemned the actions of these men and I am grateful for their support. We will continue to work with them and our partners to challenge the minority who promote destructive and dangerous views.

– Marcus Beale, Assistant Chief Constable for West Midlands Police
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