Woman, 21, shot in Willesden anti-terror raid is arrested after release from hospital

Hatty Collier
Terror raid: Police shoot at windows during the raid in Willesden: Twitter/@kieranmckenna1

A 21-year-old woman who was shot by armed police as they foiled an “active terror plot” in a dramatic raid at a house in Willesden has been discharged from hospital and arrested.

Scotland Yard said officers have been given more time to question six other people, including a 16-year-old boy, who were detained when they stormed the terraced house and another address in Kent on Thursday night.

A Met spokesman said the woman was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism after being discharged from hospital on Sunday.

She was taken into custody at a south London police station.

Police have also been granted more time to question an alleged knifeman who was arrested in the heart of Westminster in a separate counter-terrorism operation on Thursday afternoon.

The 27-year-old man, named as Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, who was detained in Whitehall just hours before the Willesden raid, remains in police custody.

It comes after it was revealed Islamist extremists were allegedly planning at least two further terror attacks in London in the near future.

"There are another two plots being closely watched," the Sunday Times quoted a senior anti-terrorism official at Scotland Yard as saying.

Those involved in planning the fresh wave of attacks are not connected to the two plots that were foiled last week, the newspaper reported.

Arrest: Armed police arrested the suspect (AFP/Getty Images)

Armed officers shot the 21-year-old woman and fired CS gas rounds when they stormed the terraced house in Harlesden Road, Willesden on Thursday evening.

In dramatic scenes, witnesses reported hearing screaming and shots as armed police in gas masks burst into the address.

A mother-of-one said: “We were just about to go shopping when we heard ‘bang, bang, bang, bang’. We went to the window and saw a number of armed police there with their guns pointing at our next-door neighbour’s window.”

Four people, including a boy aged 16, were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences. The first, a 21-year-old man, was detained near the address and another woman, aged 20, and the boy were held at the house. A 43-year-old woman was arrested in Kent a short while later.

Tackled: Armed police surrounded the man in Westminster (Twitter/@3213dev)

Two further arrests were made when a man and a woman, both aged 28, returned to the Willesden address later that night.

A Met Police spokesman said warrants have been granted to detain the suspects until dates between May 2 and May 4.

Searches at the address and two other properties elsewhere in London are continuing.

A Met spokesman said the incident in Willesden has been referred to the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Police Complaints Commission as a matter of course.

The raid came hours after armed police swooped on Ali, who was allegedly carrying a rucksack of knives in Whitehall, a stone’s throw from Downing Street and yards from the scene of last month’s deadly attack by Khalid Masood in Westminster.

Believed to be a British national born overseas who went to school in Tottenham, north London, Ali reportedly joined a humanitarian mission to Gaza in 2010.

Following his dramatic arrest in front of crowds of tourists, he was taken for questioning at a south London police station.

Scotland Yard said following a warrant of further detention being granted at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday; he can be questioned until May 4.

Giving an update on both counter-terror operations on Thursday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: "Due to the arrests made, I believe we have contained the threats that they posed.

"With the attack in Westminster on 22 March so fresh in people's minds, I would like to reassure everyone that across the country officers are working around the clock to identify those people who intend to commit acts of terror.”

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