The father of one of five Birmingham men arrested under the Terrorism Act has protested his son’s innocence as officers continued to search eight properties.
Police swooped on five homes in the city at around 6am, taking five men aged 29 to 36 into custody.
The men were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, West Midlands Police said.
A police spokeswoman said the arrests took place in the Sparkhill, Ward End, Hodge Hill, Bordesley Green and Aston areas of Birmingham.
Speaking outside his home in Sparkhill, Sobat Khan, 66, told how he awoke to find six police officers arresting his son, 29-year-old Mohammed Shabir.
The father-of-four said: “My son is not bad, he is a good boy. They (the police) knocked on the front door and came in, two lady police officers and four men.
“They arrested my son and told me I had to get out so they could search. They are still searching but they haven’t taken anything from the house. I don’t know when I can go back in.
“I was shocked. I had been asleep. My son didn’t say anything, he just went with them.
“He is not bad, he has never been bad. All his life, I have had no trouble from him. He just goes to work, that is all.
“I said to the police, ‘you think I make bombs in my house? You look’.”
Mr Khan said his son had a wife and an eight-year-old son who also live with him at the terraced home in Benton Road. He said his son, who works in a steel factory in West Bromwich, came to Birmingham from Pakistan as a baby and had not left the country since.
Neighbours described Mr Shabir as a quiet family man and expressed shock at his arrest. Imran Salemm, 27, said: “I can’t believe he has been arrested. He is the quietest guy you could meet. He is so quiet he walks down the street with his head down. His whole family is down to earth and quiet. He is nice, but he doesn’t have much to say. He just spends time with his family.
“He is the last person I would expect to be arrested. I am shocked.
“If people are planning terrorism then they need to be arrested, but the police must have it wrong, he is not like that.”
Officers were last night also searching a house in Stechford and two business properties - one in central Birmingham, another in Kenilworth.
A police spokeswoman said: “This action comes as a result of a long and complex investigation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit. It is not related to any immediate plot or threat to public safety and police are not currently seeking anyone else.”