LONDON — In the biggest anti-terrorist sweep in nearly two years, British police on Monday netted a dozen men accused of plotting a large-scale terror attack on targets inside the United Kingdom.
The raid was thought to be linked to UK targets only and not part of a larger threat to other European countries, security officials said.
Police who swooped in on the mens' houses early in the morning were unarmed, suggesting any planned attack was not imminent and the suspects were not believed armed. Police were heavily criticized in 2006 when they shot an unarmed suspect in a similar counter-terrorism raid. Only a fraction of Britain's police officers are armed.
The men were arrested in London, the Welsh city of Cardiff and the English cities of Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent and the raid was the largest since April 2009, when 12 men were detained over an alleged al-Qaida bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester.