London, on high alert for attacks similar to those that killed 129 people on Friday in Paris, was the victim of a bomb scare on Regent Street late Wednesday.
The busy shopping thoroughfare was shut down for about an hour after police were alerted to a suspicious object found near Hamleys toy store, near the junction of Regent Street and New Burlington Street.
Although London’s Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the incident, eyewitnesses said the street was cordoned off and shoppers were told to remain inside shops. Stores affected along the busy street included Brooks Brothers and J. Crew.
Bomb disposal experts assessed the situation and the item was deemed unsuspicious. Roadblocks were lifted at 4:45 p.m. local time.
Separately, according to British media reports on Wednesday, Mohammed Rehman and his wife, Sana Ahmed Khan, were arrested earlier this year for a foiled suicide bomb attack on London’s Westfield Mall that was due to take place in July. The South East Counter Terror Command, which is carrying out the investigation, did not respond to phone calls or requests to comment.
The couple had been plotting the attack since May, and had wanted it to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 London Underground and bus bombings in the British capital, which took place in 2015.
Rehman and Khan have been charged with preparing terrorist acts on or before May 28 this year. Rehman is also charged with possessing an article for terrorist purposes. Both deny the charges and are currently standing trial.
Police made the arrests after discovering a Tweet sent by Rehman, asking people for advice on the location of his attack.
The tweet read: “London Underground or Westfield shopping centre? Any advice would be appreciated greatly.”
Following the arrests, the police found explosives and chemicals in their home in Reading, England.
Westfield did not return requests to comment.