A terrorist plot to assassinate British Prime Minister Theresa May was reportedly foiled by the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency MI5.
According to Sky News, 20-year-old Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman of north London has been charged with preparing acts of terrorism.
The plot involved using an improvised explosive device at the gates of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the country’s prime ministers, before an assassination attempt would be made against May with a suicide vest.
“This is something which has been pursued over several weeks at least by Scotland Yard, MI5 and West Midlands Police,” Sky’s Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said, describing the attempted attack as an “extreme Islamist suicide plot.”
Rahman was arrested Tuesday alongside 21-year-old Mohammed Aqib Imran of southeast Birmingham, who is accused of attempting to join the Islamic State, by officers with the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Both men remain in custody after appearing before a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court Wednesday morning.
The head of MI5, Andrew Parker, told Cabinet members Tuesday that the agency has foiled nine separate terror plots in the last 12 months.
News of the arrests follows reports Tuesday that the Manchester terror attack in May, which took the lives of 23 people outside an Ariana Grande concert, could have been averted “had the cards fallen differently.”
MI5 says it had planned to discuss the security threat posed by the suicide bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, just 9 days after the deadly attack.
While British intelligence claims to have foiled several Islamist plots, numerous others have been successful.
Eleven people died in June when terrorists ran over pedestrians and stabbed others on the London Bridge.
In March 52-year-old Khalid Masood drove a vehicle at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a nearby policeman.