LONDON - Two Muslim converts were arrested in London on suspicion of terror offenses Thursday, a British security official told The Associated Press, but it was unclear whether the men were taken into custody as part of an alleged plot.
The official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said he didn't know whether the arrests were related to the upcoming Olympic Games. Security is tight ahead of the London games, which begin on July 27.
Scotland Yard identified the men as an 18-year-old and a 32-year-old, but didn't give their names. The force said the pair was arrested early Thursday at separate addresses in east London.
Intelligence officials say there has been an expected increase in chatter among extremist groups but there are still no specific or credible threats. The terror level is labeled substantial, a notch below severe, and what it has been for much of the past decade. A substantial threat level indicates that an attack is a strong possibility.
This week European security officials told the AP that they were tracking a Norwegian Muslim convert who had gone to Yemen for training and had since become "operational."
Security services across Europe have long been alert to the activities of extremist Muslim converts.
Richard Reid, who tried to blow himself up aboard a trans-Atlantic flight, was a convert. So, too, was Jermaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers in London's 2005 attacks. The coordinated bombings killed 52 people - just one day after London won the bid for the Olympics.
In 2010, two German converts to Islam and two Turkish men were convicted over a foiled plot to attack U.S. targets in Germany.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.