LONDON — Five men have been arrested in London over an alleged threat to the pope and police searches are under way at locations across the British capital, police said Friday.
Pope Benedict XVI is in London on the second day of a four-day visit to Britain.
London's police force says the men, between the ages of 26 and 50, were arrested under the terrorism act at a business in central London. Police declined to say whether the men were British or give details of their ethnicity.
Officials said information of a potential plot against the pope had been received overnight prompting the armed operation to arrest the five men early Friday morning. The men are being questioned at a London police station and have not been charged.
Police said initial searches have not uncovered any hazardous items.
The pope's visit has divided opinion in officially Protestant, highly secular Britain. The trip has been overshadowed by disgust over the Catholic Church's clerical abuse scandal and opposition from secularists.
The pontiff will meet Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Friday, head of the Anglican Communion, in a display of unity between the divided Christian churches.
His main event Friday was an afternoon speech to British politicians, businessmen and cultural leaders in Westminster Hall where he was expected to press the need for faith to help shape public policy.
On Saturday, he is due to address thousands of pilgrims at an open-air service in London's Hyde Park.
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