Two men accused of plotting to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared in a London court Wednesday.
The two are believed to have been planning a suicide attack using explosives and a knife at the home of the prime minister on 10 Downing Street.
Information about the suspected plot was first released by Andrew Parker, the head of Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5.
Parker spoke to members of Theresa May’s cabinet about terrorist threats. He said that his service had prevented nine terrorist attacks this year.
Police say the men who appeared in court Wednesday were arrested last week in raids that took place in London and the city of Birmingham.
One of those arrested is 20-year-old Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman. He is accused of preparing acts of terrorism. Officials suspect that Rahman had two explosive devices when he was arrested.
Also accused is 21-year-old Mohammed Aqib Imran, who was arrested in Birmingham. Imran is accused of trying to get a false passport in an effort to go to Libya to join a group linked to the Islamic State.
When speaking to cabinet members, Parker noted that the Islamic State group had faced defeats. But, he said, the group was still “trying to encourage attacks in the UK and elsewhere via propaganda on social media.”
News of the plot comes hours after the release of an official report on the bombing attack in Manchester last year. The report said British security forces had missed chances to stop the attack.
Lawyer David Anderson wrote the report. Anderson said the Manchester bombing attack, which killed 22 people at a music concert in May, could have been stopped “had the cards fallen differently.”
In addition, the report said the leader of another terror attack, who used knives on London Bridge in June, had been under investigation by MI5.
However, Anderson noted that most terror plots continue to be prevented before they can be carried out.
I’m Mario Ritter.
Jamie Dettmer reported this story for VOA News. Mario Ritter adapted it for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.
Words in This Story
prevent –v. to keep from happening
encourage –v. to support some activity, to get others to do something
via –prep. through
cards fall –idiom, things that happen usually because of chance rather than planning
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