More time to quiz three men held amid Christmas terror attack probe

Police have been granted more time to question three men arrested in Sheffield and Chesterfield this week on suspicion of plotting a Christmas terror attack.

Officers had been given until Christmas Day to interrogate chip shop owner Andy Sami Star, 31, from Chesterfield, as well as two other men aged 22 and 36 both from Burngreave in Sheffield.

On Saturday a court approved an extension giving detectives until January 1 before charging or releasing the men on bail.

All three were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism under section 41 of the Terrorism Act, counter-terror police said.

A fourth man, aged 41, from Meersbrook in Sheffield, also arrested during the raids, has been released without charge.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "I understand our local communities will have concerns and worries about recent events and issues, but I want to offer my reassurance that we are well prepared and we will continue to serve and protect the public of South Yorkshire.

"We work very closely with our colleagues at Counter Terrorism Policing North East and we will ensure we maintain these strong links in order to provide a high level of service and delivery to everyone in our community. Public safety is our utmost concern.

Police and the Bomb Disposal Unit outside a property in Chesterfield
Police and the Bomb Disposal Unit outside a property in Chesterfield (Josh Payne/PA)

"The threat level has not changed and our plans remain the same with continuing, increased patrols and increased visibility of both unarmed and armed officers right across the county throughout the festive period.

"My advice is still to remain vigilant, but continue to go about your daily business as you usually would.

"We have a detailed understanding of all our events, shows, sporting fixtures, markets, attractions and seasonally busy places, and it's in these places that you will see armed and unarmed staff."

He urged anyone with any concerns about any suspicious activity to contact police immediately.

On Friday, a controlled explosion was carried out following a detailed search of a Chesterfield address.

Police said a single controlled explosion took place on Friday afternoon at a nearby safe location to "safely dispose of material found at the property".

None of the surrounding premises were evacuated as a result.

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