According to London police, a man was arrested in Whitehall around 2:22 P.M. local time following a stop and search as part of an ongoing operation.
The still unidentified man was arrested on Parliament Street by armed officers from the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command.
According to reports, the man is in his late twenties and police found knives in his possession. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, and on suspicion of the commission, preparation, and instigation of acts of terrorism.
He is being detained under the Terrorism Act and is being held at a South London police station. Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are opening an investigation. At this time, no immediate threat is known.
The Metropolitan police said there were no injuries in the incident.
Police operation on Whitehall pic.twitter.com/A52oMR53hC
— Angus Walker (@anguswalkertalk) April 27, 2017
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) April 27, 2017
— Neil Doyle (@neildoyle01) April 27, 2017
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, tweeted his thanks to all of the first responders, saying:
“Thanks to all officers who deal swiftly & professionally with the incident in Whitehall. The Met Commissioner has briefed me on the arrest.”
Thanks to all officers who dealt swiftly & professionally with the incident in Whitehall. The Met Commissioner has briefed me on the arrest. https://t.co/jl4v19h2WF
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) April 27, 2017
This incident comes just over a month after Khalid Masood unleashed a deadly terror attack near parliament that left five dead and over 50 injured.
On March 22, Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three people, before attacking the Parliament building and stabbing police officer Keith Palmer to death.
An unidentified man in his late twenties was arrested in Whitehall, Westminster, on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, and on suspicion of the commission, preparation, and instigation of acts of terrorism. According to the Metropolitan police, there were no injuries.
Recruiters Harry Peasnell, 27, and Andy Burnage, 22, were leaving the adjacent building which houses various Government offices after a meeting with officials when they were told over the tannoy the usual entrance on to Whitehall was closed. As they made their way back towards Parliament from the alternative House Guards Road entrance they said they were pushed back up Great George Street by several plain clothes police officers.
They then made their way to Parliament Square where they said they saw a man in his 20s or 30s, who they thought was the suspect, being spoken to by police next to the wall of the offices. Mr. Peasnell, who says he regularly has meetings in Westminster, said police were ‘quick on the scene’ and that he was not worried like he was during the terror attack in the area just weeks ago.
Is ISIS responsible for the potential attack at Whitehall?
It is undetermined at this time if the suspect has any connection to ISIS.
Who Is The Suspect?
He remains unidentified at this time, however, there are photographs of him:
Where Is Whitehall?
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What Is Whitehall?
Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster, Central London, which forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognised as the centre of theGovernment of the United Kingdom and is lined with numerous departments and ministries including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guardsand the Cabinet Office.
The name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall that was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, before its destruction by fire in 1698; only the Banqueting House survived. Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; the route to the south was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace.