BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (BNO NEWS) -- Police in northern England arrested seven men during anti-terrorism raids this week after weapons were found during a routine vehicle search last week, officials said on Friday. The arrests are not connected to terror arrests in London this week.
Six men from the West Midlands and one man from West Yorkshire were detained between Tuesday and Thursday under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. Six are in their twenties while the suspect from West Yorkshire is 43 years old.
West Midlands Police said the anti-terrorism raids followed the routine stop of a vehicle on the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire on Saturday. The car was impounded on suspicion of having no insurance, but a subsequent search turned up two firearms, "offensive weapons" and other material which had been hidden inside the vehicle.
"As soon as the items were discovered in the impounded vehicle, our priority was to protect the public by pursuing and arresting those we believed to be involved," said Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, the head of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. "Our inquiries are ongoing."
Police said the firearms are not automatic and were not loaded, but a small amount of ammunition was found. Other details were not immediately released, but officials said the arrests are not related to the upcoming Olympics or the arrests of six terrorism suspects in London on Thursday.
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