Police believe they foiled terror plot after ‘very serious’ discovery at house

Police believe they may have foiled a terror attack in Manchester after making a ‘very serious’ discovery at home.

The bomb squad surrounded a house in Whitefield, Greater Manchester on Monday after reports suspicious items had been found.

Items discovered inside the property have led to a massive police operation and two men have been arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism.

It is understood no specific target for a potential attack has yet been identified.

Police have said they are not aware of any specific threat to local people or events taking place in Greater Manchester at this stage of the investigation.

The address on Victoria Avenue was taped off and a cordon put in place as well as road closures.

Residents in nearby houses were evacuated as a precaution and nearby Whitefield Community Primary School was put on lockdown until it was safe for pupils to leave.

A senior police source said the investigation had uncovered suspicious finds although these have not been disclosed.

The source told the Manchester Evening News : “It is very serious and very concerning. It is not absolutely certain yet, but we have probably foiled a plot.”

Two men, aged 23 and 24, have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation, and instigation of acts of terrorism.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “Two people remain in custody. Specialist detectives are doing everything they can to establish the facts.

"We would like to stress that, at this stage of our investigation, we are not aware of any specific threat to local people or events taking place in Greater Manchester.

“We will of course provide updates when possible.”

A warrant for the arrested men’s continued detention was granted on Wednesday and it will expire on Monday.

The bomb disposal squad returned to the scene on Tuesday after further finds were made at the property.

Superintendent Rick Jackson, from GMP’s Bury borough, said: “We have to take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and always at the forefront of our mind is making sure our communities are safe.

“We are keeping an open mind in relation to this incident but in these circumstances we know the public would expect us to be thorough with our enquiries.

“I want to reassure people that we have specialist detectives investigating this report to establish the full facts.

“There will be lots of officers in the area and if you have any concerns then please speak to them and they will try and assist in any way they can.”

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