LONDON — British anti-terrorism police said Monday they arrested 12 men in early morning raids on three cities to protect the public amid fears of a holiday season terrorism plot.
Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the UK 's lead police officer for counter terrorism, said the suspects were detained in London, in the central English city of Stoke-on-Trent and in Cardiff, Wales.
The arrests follow several weeks of surveillance and are not believed to be linked to other recent plots against Europe or the recent bombing in Sweden.
"The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the suspected offenses," Yates said in a statement. "However, I believe it was necessary at this time to take action in order to ensure public safety."