UK severe terror threat ‘will last two years’
Sajid Javid is expected to unveil new counter-terrorism measures today
The UK will face a severe threat from Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism for at least another two years, the Home Office has said.
After five terror attacks in the UK last year - four linked to Islamic extremism and one far-right reprisal - police and security services claim to have foiled a further terror 12 plots since March 2017.
Following a review of Britain’s counterterrorism practices in the wake of the attacks, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will unveil a range of new measures intended to boost counter-terrorism efforts.
They are expected to include plans to share information held by MI5 more widely across government departments and local agencies, and to hire 1,900 new agents for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to help keep more suspects under surveillance.
There are also plans to improve the use of data by police and MI5, a new approach to managing the far-right threat, and increases to maximum sentences for terror-related offences.
Across the capital and in other main centres of population, “there has been a noticeable increase in security of late” says Sky News, with hundreds of extra armed police officers recruited and trained to help improve response times to critical incidents.
At any one time, MI5 and the police are running more than 500 live operations involving roughly 3,000 suspects, according to officials.
“Globally, terrorist groups and networks of all ideologies continue to develop organically, exploiting social media, technology and science to further their aims and ambitions” the Home Office said. The threat from far-right extremism was also “growing”, it added.
Margaret Gilmore, a senior national security analyst, told Sky News that despite the large scale dismantling of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the terror group still posed a significant threat, and it is probably only a matter a time before another attack gets through.
More than 20,000 people who have previously been investigated could pose a threat, says the Daily Mail, and security chiefs are “particularly concerned about the potential risk of individuals in the larger group being rapidly radicalised to the point of violence before the shift is detected” .
Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, was categorised as a “closed subject of interest” at the time of his attack.
Two weeks after the anniversary of the Manchester bombing, the home secretary joined Theresa May and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan yesterday to commemorate those killed in last year’s London Bridge terror attack a year ago.