LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has thwarted an Islamist suicide plan to kill Prime Minister Theresa May with a bomb in Downing Street, Sky News reported, citing unidentified sources.
Police and security services believe that the conspirators planned to launch an improvised explosive device on Downing Street, where the prime minister lives, and then kill May in the subsequent chaos, Sky said.
Such is the seriousness of the plot that the director general of MI5, Britain's internal security agency, informed the cabinet ministers about the plot, Sky said.
Sky said the plot was thwarted with the arrest last week of two men by armed police.
London police said two men arrested last week had been charged with terrorism offenses and would appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
He identified them as Naa & # 39; imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from North London, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from Southeast Birmingham.
Britain faces the most acute threat from Islamist militants seeking to inflict massive attacks, often with spontaneous conspiracies that take only days to lead to execution, the MI5 chief said in October.
After four militant attacks this year that killed 36 people in Britain – the deadliest since the July 7/7 attacks – MI5 chief Andrew Parker said the threat was at the highest rate I had seen in 34 years of espionage
Number 10 Downing Street is the official residence of the prime minister. It is strongly protected.
In 1991, Irish Republican Army (IRA) militants launched an attack with a mortar bomb at number 10. John Major, the prime minister at the time, was inside but not injured.
A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment immediately on the report.
Written by Guy Faulconbridge; additional reports from Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; edition of Kate Holton