Britain revealed Tuesday that it arrested nine terrorists last week, five days before a planned “Christmas bomb blitz” that would have targeted two rabbis, among others. The names of the rabbis were not released, and authorities did not reveal several details of the planned attack.
All nine terrorists were either born in Britain or grew up there. Some of them are of Bangladeshi origin, according to the London Daily Mail.
Besides two rabbis, whose addresses were written on a list, other targets included a London tourist attraction, the London Stock Exchange, Mayor Boris Johnson, the dean of a cathedral and the American embassy.
The terrorist gang also had visited Big Ben, a McDonald's restaurant and other sites where large crowds gather.
They already had tested explosives in preparation for the bomb blitz, according to evidence presented in court. All of the men are under the age of 29 and were arrested in a series of dawn raids after London intelligence officers conducted a surveillance operation and recorded the cell’s conversation.
Publication of the arrests and charges against the terrorists coincided with charges by the Israeli Defense Ministry that the “Palestinian Return Center” is operating in London as the organizational arm of Hamas.