TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after police raided two properties in Burnley and another in Accrington.

Early this morning, Thursday, Lancashire Police and Counter Terrorism Policing North West officers executed warrants at two addresses on Burns Street and Gordon Street in Burnley and an address on Manor Street in Accrington.

One man, aged 34, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

The second man, aged 33, was arrested on suspicion of the dissemination of terrorist publications.

The men are now in custody and will be interviewed by detectives later.

Superintendent Stasia Osiowy, of Lancashire Police, said: “I recognise that events like this can cause people to worry and impact on wider public confidence. I want to reassure people that our information and intelligence lead us to believe that there is no immediate threat to local people.

“We will continue to engage with our local communities and keep you updated and as informed as we are able to given the sensitive nature of this investigation.

“People may see extra police activity in the area over the next few days and I would ask them to co-operate with us as we carry out the work that we need to do. We appreciate your patience and understanding. If anyone does have any concerns they should approach an officer or call 101.”

Searches are currently being carried out at the addresses.

LIVE UPDATES: Terrorism probe - police raids in Accrington and Burnley

A 59-year-old Manor Street resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It was about 7.10am when the riot vans, transit vans and normal police cars just pulled up.

“I was on the school run and thought what is going on here?

“Then we heard it on the radio about the people being arrested over terrorism offences. 

“It is shocking to hear about it on your doorstep. 

“It is a quiet area.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Manor Street, Accrington 

Police stood guard at the front door of the raided property in Manor Street, Accrington, with detectives entering and leaving the house as inquiries continued.

Neighbours said police vans and cars arrived suddenly in the street at around 7am and a man was taken from the end-terrace property in handcuffs.

One man, who did not want to give his name, said his frightened elderly grandmother, who is a neighbour, rang him to tell him about the police raid.

He said: "She rang me and said she heard bashing on the front door and 'Police! Police! Police!' being shouted.

"The man who lives there was taken out in handcuffs."

Neighbours said an Asian family of four have lived at the address for around four years - a husband, who is local and works for a local authority, his wife, who is of Bangladeshi heritage and from the south of England, and two children, a boy and a girl, both under five.

Female police officers are understood to have accompanied the children and their mother as they were taken from the house.

The property was bought with a mortgage arranged through elders at a local mosque, according to the neighbour.

The neighbour added: "There are always lots of visitors at strange hours, coming and going late at night."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Burns Street, Burnley

Cllr Shah Hussain, who represents the Daneshouse with Stoneyholme ward in which the Burnley properties are situated, said: “I am completely surprised and find it difficult to comprehend. 

“You hear about things in other areas and you just hope it would not happen in your area.

“It is reassuring that the police have known about it — whether that is local intelligence or not.”

Tanya Nusrat, of Burns Street, heard a lot of noise outside her property at 7am.

She said: “I was shocked and woken up by the sound of loud banging on the doors. “I looked out and saw the riot vans and officers with helmets on were breaking the door down.

“I don’t know the people from the house but the police brought one person out and put him in one of the vans.”