London authorities have arrested six more men suspected of planning terrorist acts in the weeks leading to the London 2012 Olympics, bringing to 13 the number of suspected terrorists the British have detained in the last several days.
Officials said there was no connection between the terrorists and the upcoming Olympics that start in three weeks on July 27, but they did acknowledge there has been an increase in chatter among the terrorist groups being monitored.
In addition to the 13 arrests of terrorist suspects, there was also a false alarm on Thursday involving a bus full of passengers, leading to the sense of concern and alarm in the city as the Olympics approach. Of course the Olympics always bring security concerns, but Europe has been the staging ground for so many terrorist attacks in recent years that it would be expected that there would be heightened security and anxiety in London.
The arrests yesterday came after a car was stopped on a highway in South Yorkshire and impounded for not having insurance—and a stash of weapons and other materials were found hidden in the car, leading police to a number of terrorist suspects.
Steve Field, spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron, tried to reassure the public that there was no sense of alarm surrounding the arrests.
“We have been looking at the issue of security at the Olympics for some time and we have robust plans in place,” he told reporters.
The terror level in Britain is at “substantial,” the third highest point on a five-point scale. That means officials believe there is a strong possibility of an attack. But that may be the method by officials of keeping law enforcement and the public on their toes.