Bomb squad called in after Birmingham terror arrests


Five men are being questioned by detectives after being arrested over alleged terror offences.

A police cordon was put up in Birmingham city centre for several hours on Friday as army bomb disposal units were called in as a precaution.

Three of the men were arrested in the city and held on suspicion of commissioning, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism, West Midlands Police said.

Two, aged 18 and 24, were detained by counter-terrorism detectives at their homes while another man, 28, was arrested in a different area of Birmingham. Another two men, aged 32 and 37, were held in Stoke-on-Trent.

A hotel worker from the pentahotel in Holloway Head - who wanted to be identified only as Ash - told the Press Association he saw bomb squad experts in the street and was warned by police that people should stay indoors for their own safety.

The force said that after one of the arrests, an army bomb disposal team was called to the Lee Bank area of Birmingham as a precaution.

A spokesman said on Friday: "Police are searching a number of properties in the Stoke and Birmingham areas as part of the investigation. These searches are ongoing.

"The arrests were intelligence-led and part of an ongoing investigation."

All five men are being held in the West Midlands area.