The UK’s Counter Terrorism Police say they’ve foiled a number of planned terror attacks since the start of the pandemic, as they warn the public ‘not to let their guard slip during the festive period’.
New statistics published by the CTP show the task force has prevented seven ‘late-stage’ plots, bringing the total number of planned attacks prevented by police since 2017 to 32.
The report confirmed the majority of foiled plots over the last four years, 18 in total, were motivated by Islamic extremism, with 12 linked to extreme right-wing views.
In the past two months the UK has seen two terror attacks carried out, with the fatal stabbing of David Amess MP in Essex in October, and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bombing on Remembrance Sunday last month. Following the November attack, the UK’s terrorism threat level was raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely.’
Following the publication of the latest statistics, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, the senior national coordinator for CTP, said:
All of this combines to paint a picture of a sustained and high tempo threat, which our world-class police, security and intelligence services are doing everything in their power to combat.
But it takes a whole society approach to effectively tackle terrorism, and co-operation between the police and the public is vital, so we need you to be vigilant, and we need you to be alert.
DAC Haydon urged the public to ‘play their part in protecting the UK’ over the Christmas period, saying anyone who sees anything suspicious should contact the police, Evening Standard reports.
New Home Office figures published today, December 9, revealed that in the past year 188 arrests related to counter-terrorism operations were made, down 28 on the previous year. 13% of those arrested were under the age of 18 – the highest ever proportion of arrests on suspicion of terrorist activity accounted for by teenagers.
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