Five people suspected of planning to join protests against the G20 summit in London on Thursday have been arrested after weapons and fireworks were found during a raid on a house in southwest England, police said Monday.
The five, three men aged 16, 19 and 25 and two women aged 20, were arrested in the city of Plymouth between Friday and Sunday and are being held under counter-terrorism powers.
Police said their inquiries indicated there was “no religious agenda” to the investigation. Four of the suspects are British and one is thought to be an international student.
Thousands of officers are taking part in a huge security operation this week when world leaders arrive for the G20 summit on the financial crisis to be held on April 2.
Anarchists have threatened to bring chaos to the streets of the British capital. A police source told Reuters the five suspects were believed to be planning to take part in the protests.
“These arrests would appear to be isolated at this time,” said assistant chief constable Sharon Taylor of Devon and Cornwall police.
“Those arrested people will remain in custody while further enquiries take place.”
The investigation was launched after officers arrested a 25-year-old man in Plymouth Friday for spray-painting graffiti on a wall.
A search of his home led to the arrest of three others for drugs offences. Detectives later found a number of imitation firearms, improvised explosives made of fireworks and material “relating to political ideology.”
The fifth man was arrested Sunday and all five were then detained under the Terrorism Act.