A 27-year-old man carrying knives was arrested on Thursday near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster by the police, who charged him with planning a terrorist attack.
No one was hurt, but the episode immediately rekindled anxieties about the terrorist attack outside parliament on March 22, when a 52-year-old British man, Khalid Masood, drove a vehicle into a group of pedestrians, killing four, and stabbed a police officer to death.
The area around the Houses of Parliament was cordoned off once again on Thursday as armed police officers descended on the scene in a grim routine that has become too familiar in major European cities.
The Metropolitan Police said the man was arrested at about 2:22pm after he was stopped and searched.
The arrest took place a short distance from 10 Downing Street, the office and official residence of British Prime Minister Theresa May. She was in Derbyshire in central England on Thursday.
The man, whose name was not made public, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism, police said. He was taken to a police station in south London.
“Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are continuing their investigation and as a result of this arrest, there is no immediate known threat,” police said in a statement.
Later on Thursday, police said officers shot a woman and arrested four other people in London and Kent during a counterterrorism investigation, Reuters reported.
All four people were arrested under anti-terrorism laws, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement, adding that the episode was not connected to the arrest of the man carrying knives near parliament.
The woman who was shot is in serious, but stable condition, police said.
She had not been arrested and was under police guard at a hospital, the statement said.
Police did not make public the names of the five people, who the police said had been under observation by counterterrorism officers as part of an ongoing intelligence-led operation.
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