Terror plot to assassinate British PM foiled

Theresa May at Downing Street

The smashed plot highlights the extreme threat still faced by the United Kingdom in a year blighted by terrorist atrocities which claimed 36 lives.

Details of the plan were reportedly given to the Cabinet on Tuesday by the head of MI5 Andrew Parker in a briefing in which he revealed that total of nine Islamist terrorist plots have been thwarted in the United Kingdom over the past year.

"It is in essence an extreme Islamist suicide plot against Downing Street. Essentially police believe that the plan was to launch some sort of improvised explosive device at Downing Street and in the ensuing chaos attack and kill Theresa May, the prime minister", said Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt.

Scotland Yard has not confirmed these reports.

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The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that two men arrested last week had been charged with terrorism offenses and would appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

The men were taken into custody last week, but news of the arrests came when an official report was released, the the newspaper said. In March, Khalid Masood ran down scores of people near Westminster, killing five and injuring at least 50 others. The report also showed that MI5 could have stopped the Manchester terror attack with the intelligence they had.

Armed police officers stand guard at the gates of Downing Street.

Security measures were introduced in the 1970s but were increased in the 1980s as the threat from Irish republican groups grew.

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