Police officers man a cordon at the scene of a residential address in northwest London on October 23, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
British security services say they have foiled at least 10 terrorist attacks over the past two years in the country.
Neil Basu, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and new senior national coordinator for the UK
counter-terrorism policing, made the revelation on Friday, adding that authorities are also dealing with hundreds of “live” cases at any one time.
“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 offenses,” Basu said.
The official noted that security services are on high alert in Britain
following a series of recent attacks carried out in other parts of Europe
and later claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.
“As soon as Daesh 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 added.
Basu said authorities relied on the support of the public to successfully confront the threat, calling on the public to be “alert but not alarmed” and report anything suspicious.
“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 color – working together to keep this country safe,” he concluded.
British authorities say that at least 800 UK nationals have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside various Takfiri groups, regarding them as potential security threats upon returning to the country.
French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)
In February, the European Union’s criminal intelligence agency Europol said up to 5,000 trained members of Daesh were at large in Europe, adding that some 30,000 militants from over 100 countries have reportedly traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2011 to join the ranks of Takfiri terrorist groups.
Daesh terrorists are mainly operating in Syria and its eastern neighbor, Iraq.
Back in November last year, Daesh launched a series of attacks in the French capital of Paris, killing a total of 130 people. Investigations into the incident revealed that the perpetrators were mostly Belgium-based.
In March, two bomb attacks in Brussels killed at least 14 people and left nearly 100 people wounded, while a separate bombing in a metro station killed around 20 people and injured about 100 others.
Belgium, home to the main institutions of the European Union and the NATO headquarters, has been viewed as the prime source of recruitment for Daesh in Europe.
Police officers stand by a regional train in Wuerzburg, Germany, on July 18, 2016 after a man attacked train passengers with an axe. (Photo by AFP)
On July 18, a 17-year-old asylum seeker, believed to be from either Afghanistan or Pakistan, went on an axe rampage on a train in the German city of Wuerzburg, severely wounding four people and injuring a woman while fleeing the scene. The assailant was shot dead by the police. Later on July 24, a 27-year-old Syrian, whose refugee application had been refused, set off his explosives outside a bar in the city of Ansbach, wounding 15 people.
Both attacks were claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.