London, Dec. 22 (ANI): Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of counter-terrorism powers in Britain, has told the country's lawmakers that a significant terror plot in four cities was stopped with the arrest of 12 men of Bangladeshi origin.
He said it was "very possible that people may well be charged and prosecuted" over the next few days.
Unarmed officers in London, Cardiff, Stoke and Birmingham held the 12 suspects, aged between 17 and 28, during early morning raids on Thursday.
It is understood the men, a mixture of foreign nationals and some born in Britain, were under surveillance for months.
Lord Carlile said: "The briefing I have had shows there to be allegations of a significant plot in the cities mentioned."
Giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Lord Carlile added: "The gestation period for the arrests has been long. I was aware of an operation some time ago, which led to these arrests."
"I believe that it is very possible that people may well be charged and prosecuted," he said.
"I happen to know the Crown Prosecution Service has been involved... for some time in this operation and I would expect significant activity over the next few days."
Coalition security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said the threat to the UK was "indefinite".
She said: "It's very clear that these were important arrests and, as the police said yesterday, necessary for the safety of the nation, with which I think the security service undoubtedly agrees and we should take that at face value."
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates warned that the property searches could take days to complete as he defended the operation as "absolutely necessary". (ANI)