Police granted more time to question Sheffield terror suspects

Detectives investigating a suspected Christmas terror plot have been granted more time to question four men arrested in Sheffield and Chesterfield.

Thursday, 21st December 2017, 5:24 am
Updated Thursday, 21st December 2017, 5:30 am
Police officers searched Fatima Community Centre in Burngreave as part of an anti-terror operation

They have been given until Christmas Day to charge, release or apply for more time to quiz the terror suspects, aged 22, 31, 36 and 41.

The men are all being held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000. 

Three men were arrested in raids in Sheffield, with homes searched in Meersbrook, Stocksbridge and Burngreave on Tuesday.

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The Fatima Community Centre and mosque in Burngreave was also raided.

A flat above a chip shop in Chesterfield was also searched, with a police cordon around the Sheffield Road property still in place today.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit said: "As part of continuing activity at the scene in Chesterfield following the arrest of a terrorism suspect, specialist teams have returned to assist with the ongoing searches.

"This is a precautionary measure and we will continue to take every step necessary to prioritise the safety of local residents.

"We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of this activity. We would ask them to remain alert but not alarmed.

"The cordoned off area in the town was significantly reduced yesterday afternoon and is remaining in its current position."

Superintendent Michelle Shooter, Derbyshire Police, said: “I would like to thank the people of Chesterfield for their patience and understanding during the unavoidable disruption.

“We’d ask that people are calm, resilient and measured in what they say and how they act during what is a difficult and concerning time for local communities.

“Please remember that, although speculation is natural, it is often wrong.

“We are continuing to support officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East as the investigation continues.

“Our officers are patrolling the area to offer reassurance to the public.”

South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable, David Hartley, added: "I’d like to thank everyone for their support and patience over the last 24 hours, which has understandably caused some concern within our communities

“We are continuing to support the investigation and as planned throughout the festive period you will see an increased visibility of both unarmed and armed patrols right across the county."

Tuesday's raids were said to have been 'intelligence led' and 'pre-planned'.