Police arrest 4 in raids following ISIS threats on UK Christmas markets

Anti-terror police have arrested four suspects in raids conducted on Dec. 19 in Sheffield and Chesterfield after the Islamic State posted online threats targeting U.K. Christmas markets in terror attacks.

(REUTERS / Axel Schmidt)People visit the Christmas Market on Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, Germany. November 27, 2017.

On Tuesday morning, a police bomb squad was summoned to a property in Chesterfield as authorities feared that an explosive device was being assembled for a U.K. Christmas terror plot. They arrested three suspects in Sheffield and another one in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Sky News detailed.

The police later explained that the arrests were planned ahead after the Counter Terrorism Policing North East conducted an investigation. They also thanked the people who offered their assistance and urged them to remain alert and calm.

"The arrests were intelligence-led and pre-planned as part of an ongoing investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East," the police spokesperson said. "We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of this activity. We would ask people to remain alert but not alarmed and we are grateful for the assistance and understanding of people locally."

Meanwhile in Germany, police took into custody a man alleged to be planning an attack on an ice rink and was believed to be an active ISIS member. The arrest came a year after 12 people died when a Tunisian asylum seeker drove a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, Reuters reported.

Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg said the suspect was planning to attack the ice rink on the Schlossplatz in Karlsruhe. The man was a German citizen who was identified only by the name Dasbar W.

In addition, police said the suspect was looking at the areas around the ice rink and was applying for a job as a delivery driver since September 2017 but had not had any luck. The man also fought for ISIS in Iraq in 2015 and returned to Germany last year.

Germany's security service had already warned earlier this month that the number of radical lslamists had increased to a record figure of 10,800.