Twelve men have been arrested in anti-terror raids across the UK, West Midlands police have confirmed.

The swoop by anti-terror police follows warnings by European authorities of a Mumbai-style attack in major cities by Pakistan-based terror cells.

The men aged between 17 and 28 were arrested in London, Birmingham and Cardiff in dramatic dawn raids.

West Midlands Police said in a statement: “All were arrested at or near their home addresses, with the exception of one suspect from Stoke who was at a domestic property in Birmingham.”

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, national lead for counter-terrorism policing, said: “This is a large scale, pre-planned and intelligence-led operation involving several forces.”

“The operation is in its early stages so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the suspected offences. However, I believe it was necessary at this time to take action in order to ensure public safety.”

It is believed that the plans for the alleged attacks were at an advanced stage but Yates said the terror plot is not linked to other threats against Europe or the recent bombing in Sweden.