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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Plot to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May foiled

Two men, who are believed to have been inspired by ISIL, are due to appear in court on Wednesday after they were charged with terror offences

Security services believe they have foiled a plot to assassinate Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. REUTERS / Matt Dunham
Security services believe they have foiled a plot to assassinate Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. REUTERS / Matt Dunham

A plot to assassinate British Prime Minister Theresa May has been foiled, Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

It is believed the plan, by ISIL-inspired terrorists, was to launch an improvised explosive device at the prime minister's residence at Downing Street before entering and killing Mrs May.

Sky News said that this had been pursued over several weeks by Scotland Yard, MI5 and West Midlands Police.

Two men, Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from north London and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from Birmingham, have been charged with terrorist offences and are due to appear in Westminster magistrates’ court on Wednesday.

The head of MI5, Andrew Parker, is believed to have briefed cabinet ministers about the alleged plot on Tuesday.

Mr Parker revealed that British intelligence had thwarted nine terror plots in the past 12 months.

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Read more:

Manchester terrorist attack might have been averted: report

UK intelligence chief warns of ‘intense’ terror threat

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The disclosure came just hours after the UK government revealed that a terrorist attack on a Manchester concert venue that left 22 people dead could have been averted if security officials had responded differently to intelligence about the suicide bomber in the months before the attack.

The finding follows a review of the handling of intelligence by police and security officials over four attacks - three in London and one in the northern city of Manchester - from March to June that left a total of 36 people dead.

“It is conceivable that the Manchester attack in particular might have been averted had the cards fallen differently,” according to an independent review by barrister David Anderson QC published on Tuesday.

The review found that on two separate occasions, the domestic security agency MI5 received information “whose significance was not fully appreciated at the time”, said Mr Anderson.

The undisclosed information received about the suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, 22, was assessed to be related to criminality and not terrorism. “In retrospect, the intelligence can be seen to have been highly relevant to the planned attack,” Mr Anderson concluded.

Had its significance been realised, an investigation would have been opened. “It is unknowable whether such an investigation would have allowed Abedi’s plans to be pre-empted and thwarted: MI5 assesses that it would not,” he said.