UK’s counter-terrorism forces have foiled at least 10 terrorist attacks in the last two years and was dealing with around 550 live cases, Scotland Yard said on Friday as it warned that the threat level for terrorism in the country is still “severe”. The figures were disclosed by Neil Basu, the Indian-origin deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the UK’s senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing.
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“We continue to work at a relentless pace with our key partners, currently dealing with around 550 live cases at any one time. The counter-terrorism network and security services have successfully foiled at least 10 attacks in the last two years, with 294 convictions for terror-related offences,” Basu said.
In a blogpost for the UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council, he said that the official threat level for international terrorism in the UK is “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.
“As soon as Daesh [Islamic State] started to lose on the battlefields abroad, it was clear their tactics would be directed closer to home. The evidence has been plain to see with the horrors suffered repeatedly by those in France, Germany and Belgium.”
Basu also pointed out that there were other threats facing the country besides ISIS, saying he wanted to make the UK a “hostile place for terrorists”.
“The continuing threat from Northern-Ireland-related terrorism and al-Qaeda also remains present, with supporters of both seeking to act,” he said. The senior police chief urged the public to be “alert but not alarmed” and report anything suspicious.
He said: “Despite all of our essential prevention work, it is a sad fact that terrorist attacks can and do happen. But if the worst were to take place we are ready, both to respond with maximum effect and to recover. The only way for us to prevent terrorism in this country is for the police to be the public and the public to be the police. Communities will defeat terrorism. Strong, cohesive communities – whatever their religion, race, creed or colour – working together to keep this country safe.”