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Two teenage boys arrested in Yorkshire over alleged terror plot


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Two teenage boys arrested in Yorkshire over alleged terror plot” was written by Helen Pidd North of England editor, and agencies, for theguardian.com on Monday 30th October 2017 08.40 UTC

Two 14-year-old boys have been arrested by counter terrorism police on suspicion of plotting an attack from a market town in the north-east of England.

The teenagers were being held on “suspicion of preparing for an act of terrorism” under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 after intense police activity in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, over the weekend.

They have been transferred to police stations in West Yorkshire where they are being questioned, the Northern Echo reported.

The police search has centred on a garage building with a blue metal shutter door in the town’s Romanby area, with residents speaking of their shock that a terrorism operation had been launched in such an unlikely setting.

Since the arrests on Saturday, there have been numerous searches at several properties in North Yorkshire. A North Yorkshire police spokesman said the force was supporting the north-east counter-terrorism unit with investigations and searches.

He added: “Officers believe that this is an isolated incident and the wider community is not at risk. We appreciate the cooperation of local residents whilst this investigation continues.”

A West Yorkshire police spokesman added: “We understand people may have concerns as a result of this activity and we are grateful for the patience and understanding of the public while these inquiries are carried out.”

Witnesses reported seeing a large number of police vehicles on Grange Close and Boroughbridge Road, in Romanby, near a derelict former tyre garage, for most of the day on Saturday and into Sunday. Police vehicles were also seen on the A167, Boroughbridge Road, the main road to the southern end of Northallerton, which is known as North Yorkshire’s county town.

Residents reported seeing unmarked police cars along with four marked cars at the scene, as part of a police presence that remained at the scene from Saturday morning until 2pm on Sunday.

There were reports of searches taking place in Romanby on Sunday. People living nearby said they had been unaware there was a terrorism-related incident being investigated around them. A Grange Close resident told the Northern Echo: “The officers would only say that it’s an ongoing investigation, but if it’s connected to an investigation into terrorism then I’m shocked, really shocked.

“A few months back there was a problem with kids getting in there to use it as a skatepark, but the owners put some better security in and it’s been fine since. I’ve never seen anything suspicious at all.”

A spokeswoman from the force said: “North Yorkshire police are supporting officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East with their investigation and searches. Officers believe that this is an isolated incident and the wider community are not at risk. We appreciate the cooperation of local residents whilst the investigation continues.”

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