British police have arrested eight people today in what they say was a plot to kidnap and execute a member of the British military.
British officials say the gruesome plot would have been a completely new kind of terrorism in the United Kingdom.
One British news network reported that the next step would have been beheading the victim and posting the video on the Internet.
Police have not confirmed that detail, but dozens of anti-terror police descended on several locations across the city of Birmingham, in a series of predawn raids sealing off streets and arresting eight people.
Officials say the suspects have been under surveillance for several months.
The plot was not a mass-casualties attack like the subway bombing of July 7, 2005.
Instead, police say, the plan was to use a tactic never before seen in Britain: a kidnapping, not of a high-profile person such as a member of the royal family or politician, but of a serving member of the British armed forces in an abduction grimly familiar to those seen in Iraq.
Police believe the intention was to bring maximum publicity and the kind of violence seen in Iraq closer to British citizens at home. According to police, 12 homes in Birmingham are currently being searched.
Reuters news agency reports two Islamic bookstores were also cordoned off.
Britain has been trying to handle the threat of homegrown terrorists since suicide bombers killed 52 people in London in the July attack.
Story courtesy of ABC News.