UK Police Foil Alleged ISIS-Inspired Plot To Attack Jewish Community

British authorities have charged two men with planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack targeting the Jewish community law enforcement and military personnel in northwest England. Walid Saadaoui 36 and Amar Hussein 50 appeared in a London court Tuesday accused of preparing to use automatic weapons to carry out the plot.

Prosecutors allege the men began planning the attack in December with the aim of causing multiple fatalities. They reportedly sought to acquire a machine gun 1200 rounds of ammunition a handgun and a safe house to store the weapons. Saadaoui allegedly traveled with Hussein to Dover in March to conduct reconnaissance on port security where the guns were to be imported.

A third man Bilel Saadaoui 35 was charged with failing to disclose information about the alleged plot. He is accused of making arrangements for the expected death of his brother Walid Saadaoui one of the alleged plotters.

The arrests come amid record-high levels of antisemitism in the UK last year with a spike following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel according to the Community Security Trust a Jewish advocacy group. “This is one of a number of recent and ongoing cases that demonstrate why the Jewish community needs such extensive security measures,” said the trust’s northern regional director Amanda Bomsztyk.

Greater Manchester Police said they recognized the plot’s details would significantly impact the Jewish community. “Firstly we know how significant the impact of this will be. Particularly for our Jewish community in Greater Manchester and across the country,” said Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts.

The suspects were held without bail and are scheduled to appear in the Central Criminal Court on May 24. Police said they did not believe there was a wider risk to the public.