Terror threat is increasing in Britain, says Scotland Yard

Police have foiled several terrorism plots this year, but the threat is only increasing, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer said.

People were being increasingly radicalised via the internet, Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said, with about 50 people a week being referred to deradicalisation programmes and 218 terrorism arrests.

The plots that were foiled by police “are of varied sophistication, from individuals planning to carry out spontaneous yet deadly attacks to more complex conspiracies, almost all seemingly either directed by or inspired by terrorism overseas,” Rowley said.

This is a big increase, but it’s due to police “running exceptionally high numbers of counter-terrorism investigations”.

Dozens of families have gone to police to get help in stopping relatives travelling to Syria, he added.

Rowley released a comprehensive statement of the scale of the threat, including:

  • 16 people have been charged after returning from Syria.
  • 66 people are reported missing by their families and believed they went to Syria.
  • 1,000 pieces of illegal content removed from the internet a week by police. This includes graphic depictions of beheadings, murder, torture and suicide. More than 80% relates to Syria or Iraq.
  • 100 Syria-related “preventative activities” each week

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