Three men arrested for terror offences tried to firebomb a publisher about to release a book about the Prophet Mohammad's child bride, it is thought.
A 40-year-old, a 22-year-old and a 30-year-old man were taken to a central London police station on Saturday and are in custody, following a small fire outside a property in Lonsdale Square, north London.
According to the Observer newspaper, the arrests came after a petrol bomb was alleged thrown through the door of the Gibson Square publishing company, which is set to release a controversial novel concerning the Prophet Muhammad.
The Jewel of Medina, by US journalist Sherry Jones, was to be released by Random House, until the publishing giant cancelled its launch plans due to fears that the novel could "incite acts of violence".
Gibson Square, owned by Martin Rynja, picked up the novel, which tells of the life of A'isha from her engagement to the Prophet Muhammad as a six-year-old, until his death.
Mr Rynja has published Londonistan by Melanie Phillips and Blowing up Russia by murdered dissident Alexander Litvinenko and had said he felt it was imperative for free speech that The Jewel of Medina be published.
"I was completely bowled over by the novel and the moving love story it portrays,' he commented earlier this month.
"I was struck by the careful research of Sherry Jones, who is a journalist with almost 30 years of experience, and her passion for the novel's characters. I immediately felt that it was imperative to publish it. In an open society there has to be open access to literary works, regardless of fear."
The three men linked with the incident were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
The Met's Counter Terrorism Command carried out the arrests in the early hours of Saturday morning in a pre-planned operation.
Two of the arrests were made outside the property in Lonsdale Square while the third followed an armed vehicle stop near Angel tube station in Islington.
Officers are currently searching four properties in Walthamstow, Ilford and Forest Gate in connection with the arrests.