The Lebanon-based Shi’ite terror group Hezbollah stockpiled large quantities of explosive materials in London as part of a major terrorism plot, The Telegraph reported Sunday night.
According to the report, on September 30th 2015, British authorities, including MI5 and London police, acting on a tip from a foreign government, uncovered a major terrorist plot linked to the radical Islamist terror organization and Iranian ally, Hezbollah, in northwestern London.
Just months after the Iranian nuclear deal was signed – to which Britain was a party – UK authorities uncovered three metric tons of ammonium nitrate hidden in caches found during raids on three businesses and one home in North West London. The raids were conducted after a months-long investigation headed by the MI5.
One suspect, a man in his forties, was arrested in connection with the raids, the report said, though he was later released without charge. The plot had all the hallmarks of “proper organized terrorism” one official told The Telegraph, adding the bomb-making material could have done “a lot of damage”.
Citing “well-placed sources”, the report claimed that the terror plot had been disrupted by a covert intelligence operation ‘rather than seeking a prosecution’.
The plot was so serious that then-Prime Minister David Cameron and then-Home Secretary Theresa May were personally briefed on the discovery of the explosive material.
Despite the magnitude of the plot and the discovery, the incident was never disclosed to the public, coming to light only after a three-month investigation by The Telegraph, which suggested that the matter was withheld from the public in order to keep “the Iran nuclear deal afloat”.
“MI5 worked independently and closely with international partners to disrupt the threat of malign intent from Iran and its proxies in the UK,” a British intelligence official said.