'Terror plot' four face police quiz
Detectives are tonight questioning a group of suspected Islamist terrorists amid fears the men were plotting to launch an attack in Britain.
Dramatic CCTV footage has emerged of one of a series of arrests across London, in which counter-terror police are seen tackling a suspect on the upmarket Westbourne Grove in west London.
The black-and-white footage, captured by the 65 & King bar and obtained by ITV News, shows a number of officers wrestle to the ground the 28-year-old man, a British national of Azerbaijani origin, outside the Planet Organic stores around 7pm last night before four cars swoop in.
At the same time, a rmed police fired special ammunition - designed to breach doors or burst tyres - to stop a car on Mansell Street, near the Tower of London, and arrested two men, both aged 25. One is a British national of Turkish origin, while the other is a British national of Algerian origin.
A 29-year-old, a British national of Pakistani origin, was also held in Peckham Street, south-east London, during last night's MI5-assisted operation.
All the men have been detained on the suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, Scotland Yard said, and are being quizzed at a south London police station.
And as six addresses and two vehicles across the capital continue to be searched by the Metropolitan Police, further eyewitness reports have emerged.
City of London councillor John Fletcher, whose apartment backs on to Mansell Street, said he heard two loud bangs which he initially thought were fireworks.
He said it was not until his wife told him about the commotion on the street and he went to investigate that he realised the seriousness of the situation.
Mr Fletcher said he then realised the two loud bangs were related to the arrest, but could not say for sure what they were.
The councillor said he was left without answers when he tried to question a policeman about the situation.
"He said 'you'll hear all about it in the papers tomorrow'," he said.
"I asked him if there was any danger to the residents in the flats I represent and he said there's no danger to them at all."
Neighbour Catherine Delgado, 43, saw the incident and said about "five or six" cars swarmed over one vehicle, blocking off the street in the process.
Ms Delgado said police, some in special uniforms, began shouting at the driver to get out of the vehicle, but he was refusing.
She also recalled hearing two loud bangs, but was unable to say whether shots were fired.
The concerned resident said she tried to get information from police about the incident, but was also denied.
"They didn't say anything," she said.
"I asked the policewoman what was going on and she said 'we can't tell you anything, just go away, just go away'.
"But I said 'I'm quite worried because I'm living here, someone tells me there's a terrorist with a bomb'.
"'Is this true? Because (if it is), I'm going'."
Mr Fletcher said his ward of Portsoken was generally incident-free and he suspected police chose Mansell Street to intercept the suspects because it was a wide, busy road.
Ramin Massodi described the suspect arrested in the upmarket Westbourne Grove raid as "handsome".
Mr Massodi, who witnessed the drama unfold from inside the Persian restaurant where he works, added: "He definitely didn't look like a terrorist at all."
He said police came into the restaurant and apprehended another man, but later released him without charge.
The restaurant worker said the arrested man had been swooped on by specialist officers in several cars who pushed him up against the glass of the restaurant.
"I heard shouting then I looked outside and saw four cars... and they grabbed him," he said.
Neighbour George Paul, who lived across the street from the restaurant, said he was sitting in his flat when he head the commotion outside.
"I poked my head out the window - it was dark - but I could clearly see at least three cars," he said.
"They were stopping traffic in all directions. There were two policemen on top of a guy, pinning him down and from what I may have heard, the assailant said in maybe a foreign accent 'please don't break my arm'."
Mr Paul said officers then cuffed the man and pressed him against the restaurant wall.
He said he thought about coming out to investigate further but decided against it because of how serious the situation seemed.
Mr Paul, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said he had never seen anything like it before.
"This is one of the best policed areas, there's two policemen walking around every 15 minutes," he said.
"It's a very safe area so this is a surprise, it's a shock basically."
The street where the man was arrested in Notting Hill is lined with restaurants and boutiques.
A restaurant owner, who did not want to be named, said the incident closed down most of the street and cost him a significant amount of business.