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01:58 - Source: CNN

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Five from Birmingham, England, arrested in terror investigation

Arrests followed revelation that Paris, Brussels suspect Abrini had traveled to Birmingham

CNN  — 

Police in Birmingham, England, said Friday they have arrested five terror suspects in a joint investigation involving UK intelligence and French and Belgian authorities.

The suspects – four men ranging in age from 26 to 59, and a 29-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts, West Midlands police said in a statement. Four were arrested in Birmingham, the fifth at London’s Gatwick Airport, police said.

“The arrests were preplanned and intelligence-led,” Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said in a statement. “There was no risk to the public at any time and there is no information to suggest an attack in the UK was being planned.”

The arrests followed revelations that Mohamed Abrini – who investigators say has been linked to the terror March attacks in Brussels and the November 2015 attack in Paris – had traveled to Birmingham several times in the year before the Paris attacks.

Abrini is known as the “man in the hat” in surveillance video taken of bombers in the Brussels Airport attack. His DNA and fingerprints were lifted from a vehicle used in the Paris attacks, and surveillance video spotted him with Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam at a gas station between Brussels and the French capital.

A senior British counterterrorism source told CNN on Friday that investigators have determined he met with people suspected of terrorist activity and took several photos of landmarks in the Birmingham area, including a football stadium.

Abrini was arrested April 8 in Belgium.

Source: Paris, Brussels attackers sought to target Euro 2016