Britain foils Islamist plot to assassinate May

Britain arrests two Muslim men who planned to attack British PM's residence and kill her.

Elad Benari ,

Theresa May
Theresa May

Britain has foiled a terror plot to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, two Muslim men were arrested on suspicion of planning to attack 10 Downing Street, the location of the Prime Minister’s office, with an improvised bomb, suicide vest and knives.

Investigators suspect the pair wanted to detonate a bomb disguised as a bag. They would then attempt to kill Theresa May armed with a suicide vest, pepper spray and knife in the chaotic aftermath, according to the Daily Mail.

Sky News reported that the plot is the latest in a number of terror plots that police and MI5 believe they have foiled this year.

The head of MI5, Andrew Parker, briefed Cabinet ministers on Tuesday about the terror threat faced by Britain.

The two suspects have been identified as Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from north London and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from south-east Birmingham. They are due to appear before a court on Wednesday morning, according to Sky News. A police statement said they were arrested last week.

Counter-terrorist chiefs say the attack was the ninth foiled plot since March as hundreds of terrorist suspects remain under investigation.

The security service and police have thwarted 22 terrorist plots in the past four years and there are more than 500 live investigations ongoing, reported the Daily Mail.

In October, Parker warned that British intelligence services are facing an "intense" challenge from terrorism. He added that more than 130 Britons who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group had died.

20 attacks had been foiled in the last four years, including seven in the last seven months, Parker revealed, adding that all were related to what he called Islamist extremism.

The five attacks that got through this year included a suicide bombing attack after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in May, killing 22.

Five people were killed in April during an attack near the Houses of Parliament, while eight people were killed when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack in Borough Market.

Another attack occurred when a man drove a van into a crowd of worshippers near a mosque in north London in June, while a homemade bomb partially exploded in a tube train at Parsons Green station last month, injuring 30 people.