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Five held in UK with `Paris terror links'

Press AssociationPress Association 15/04/2016 Matthew Cooper and Kate Ferguson

A terror cell in Birmingham, which reportedly has links to the Paris and Brussels attacks, has been uncovered by British police.

Four men and a woman were arrested after an anti-terror inquiry involving MI5 and authorities in France and Belgium.

The arrests formed part of an extensive investigation into "any associated threat" to Britain following terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, police say.

It comes as security services will be on high alert ahead of the Queen's 90th birthday and a visit by US president Barack Obama, which both take place later this month.

Detectives detained three men, aged 26, 40 and 59, and a 29-year-old woman in Birmingham on Thursday night.

A 26-year-old man was arrested at Gatwick Airport in the early hours of Friday.

Police say a number of properties in Birmingham were being searched after the pre-planned and "intelligence-led" arrests.

All five people arrested were held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

It comes just a week after the arrest of Mohamed Abrini, who admitted being the "man in the hat" pictured alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport last month.

Thirty-two people were killed and nearly 300 were injured in suicide blasts at the airport and the city's Maelbeek subway station.

Abrini was the last identified suspect still at large following the November 13 attacks in Paris, which left 130 people dead.

Police have previously refused to confirm reports that images of landmarks in Birmingham, including a shopping mall, were found on a mobile phone belonging to a ringleader involved in the Paris atrocities.

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