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In what British authorities are calling “the biggest antiterror raid since April 2009” 12 men were taken into custody after months of surveillance indicated that a plot to attack major cities was in it early stages.

Officers said the suspects range in age from 17 to 28 and will be questioned on suspicion of commissioning, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism.

The arrests are the most high-profile antiterror raids in Britain since April 2009, when 12 men were detained in raids across northern England. All were released without charge, but authorities insisted they had thwarted a major al-Qaida bomb plot in the northern city of Manchester.

Yates said the latest arrests followed close coordination by officers from several different cities. “This is a large scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces,” he said.

In October, the U.S. State Department advised American citizens living or traveling in Europe to be wary amid reports that terrorists were planning attacks on a European city.

We’re just glad these people were caught before they had a chance to even get into the latter stages of plotting an attack. We also hope that these “arrests” aren’t just grand-standing by the government to make people feel as if they are doing a good job. Can’t put anything past ’em nowadays…

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