Three arrests in animal rights extremism inquiry

New Scotland Yard Scotland Yard says the arrests mark a "significant development" in its inquiry

Three people have been arrested in Amsterdam and London as part of a Europe-wide inquiry into blackmail linked to animal rights extremism.

A woman, 50, was held in Croydon, south London, on suspicion of conspiracy to blackmail following her arrest by counter terrorism officers, police say.

A Dutch man and British woman, both aged 25, were arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion of arson.

Searches are continuing at business addresses linked to all three.

'Significant'

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said Scotland Yard was not revealing who or what the alleged target of the blackmail plot was, but it is understood it was in the UK.

Sources said the operation was one of the most significant that police tackling animal rights extremism have conducted for some time, he added.

It was led by the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command, in liaison with the National Domestic Extremism Unit and Dutch National Crime Squad.

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