01/05/2012 06:45 BST | Updated 01/05/2012 07:00 BST

Terror Funding Arrests: Seven Held In London, Coventry And Cardiff

Seven people have been arrested in dawn raids across the country on suspicion of funding terrorism, Scotland Yard has said.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police arrested six men and one woman on suspicion of illegally exporting the drug khat, and using the money to fund terrorism at four addresses in London, Coventry and Cardiff at 6am on Tuesday.

"The suspicion is they were exporting khat, which is legal in the UK, to the US and Canada where it is controlled, and using the profits to fund terrorism," police said in a statement.

All seven were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 as part of a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation, into suspected fundraising for terrorism overseas, Scotland Yard said. Homeland Security Investigations in America was involved in the investigation.

Those arrested are currently in custody at a central London police station and their homes are being searched.

Scotland Yard said they had eight further search warrants for seven addresses in London.

Those arrested included a 45-year-old woman and a 49-year-old man in Croydon; two men aged 30 and 47 in Brent; two men aged 42 and 45 in Coventry; and a 40-year-old man in Cardiff.