The United Kingdom has raised its level of threat from Islamist terrorism to “severe” after two violent incidents in Liverpool and Essex in the last one month, a Canada-based think tank reported.
International Forum For Rights And Security (IFFRAS) citing counter-terror experts reported that more future threats are expected in the United Kingdom, adding that however, no Islamist group has come forward to accept responsibility for the attacks so far.
British security minister Damien Hinds suspected the incident could be the result of online radicalisation – the latest aspect of Islamist terror to threaten Europe. Hinds revealed “the security services had disrupted more than 30 late-stage plots in the last few years”, IFFRAS reported.
A suicide bomber blew himself up with an explosive device near a maternity hospital in Liverpool on November 15.
According to MI5, a British domestic counter-intelligence agency, the Islamist terrorist threat to the country is real.
“Terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, including Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), possess both the intention and the capability to direct attacks against the West. The UK is a high-priority target for Islamist extremists and they pose a significant threat to our country and to our interests and citizens abroad. Despite the current main focus on terrorism originating from Syria and Iraq, the threat of terrorism also emanates from other parts of the Middle East and regions such as North, East and West Africa, South and South-East Asia,” the website said.
British home secretary Priti Patel said the UK’s terror threat level has been raised from substantial to severe, meaning another attack was “highly likely”.
On October 15, Conservative Member of Parliament Sir David Amess was stabbed to death outside his constituency surgery in Essex. He had been stabbed multiple times as he was returning to the surgery. He succumbed to his injuries.
The priority of British counter-terrorism agencies is to identify all the people in the UK who may have been radicalised in recent months or years, according to IFFRAS.
“There are several thousand individuals in the UK who support violent extremism or are engaged in Islamist extremist activity. Some British nationals travel overseas to train with extremist groups and return to the UK with the view to plan attacks, but increasingly the terrorist threat from within the UK emanates from individuals radicalised by individuals and material online,” MI5 said.
According to a House of Commons report on “Terrorism in Great Britain: the statistics”, the number of terrorism-related arrests made in the UK since 2001 reached a peak in 2017-18 with 447 arrests. In 2020-21, out of 166 terrorism-related arrests, 27 per cent resulted in charges, and of these, 82 per cent were terrorism-related charges. (ANI)