The two men, both 34 years old from east London, were stopped, searched, and arrested by armed officers in the Pall Mall area near Westminster.
No shots were fired during the police operation.
Both remain in custody at a central London police station, where they are undergoing questioning for offences in contravention of the Terrorism Act 2006.
“Following the increase to the UK threat level from terrorism last week – as a precautionary measure in response to recent events in France and Austria – I would like to emphasise that the public should be alert but not alarmed,” Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said in a statement.
The severe level means that, although authorities believe an attack is “highly likely,” no specific threat has been made. The UK changed its terrorism threat level from substantial to severe in the wake of recent attacks on the European mainland. In mid-October, a teacher was beheaded near Paris. Later that month, three people were killed during an attack on a church in the city of Nice. At the beginning of November, a gunman killed four people and injured over 20 in the Austrian capital.
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