Not to worry. If the Brits could just rein in their hardcore “Islamophobia,” this problem will evanesce. “Major terror attack on scale of 7/7 foiled every year in UK, police reveal,” by Tom Whitehead for the Telegraph, March 21 (thanks to Block Ness):
Police and MI5 are foiling a plot as big as the July 7 attacks every year, the country’s second most senior terror officer has revealed.
Officers also fear a hybrid of terrorist and criminal gangs could bring a new threat on the UK.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne warned that the country is facing the most complex terror threat in its history.
He said the threat is constantly changing with al-Qaeda inspired Islamic extremists now plotting in smaller, harder to detect groups.
The danger is coming from an increasing number of hot spots around the world and there is also a growing threat from republican groups in Northern Ireland, who would attack mainland Britain if they could.
Mr Osborne, who is the senior national coordinator for counter terrorism, said: “On average we’ve probably had about one potential attack planned with an intent to create something similar to July 7 every year.
“The UK threat as we stand today remains at substantial, which means that a terrorist attack remains a strong possibility and could occur without warning.”
Last month, three men were convicted of planning to kill hundreds of people in the UK with up to eight suicide bombers after concluding the 7/7 attacks had “not done enough damage”.
And in 2006 a plot to blow up passenger jets with bombs disguised as soft drinks was foiled but led to tighter restrictions for carry on luggage.
Mr Osborne, who is senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism, said he fears that terror cells could either team up with organised crime gangs or mirror their practices, bringing a new kind of threat to the UK.
He also echoed concerns that an increasing number of Britons are exploiting unrest abroad to receive terror training before returning home.
Syria is the biggest destination now and the fear is those taking part will form small independent cells once back rather than become part of a major plot.
Mr Osborne said: “Some who have been trained actually are becoming quite self-motivated, they are beginning to plan in small groups which are hard to detect.
“There is no doubt that the big sophisticated 9/11 or 7/7 type plots are much harder to organise, they did need a lot of overseas direction, and some of the al Qaida leadership have said that’s good if you can do it, but if not any attack whatever you can do at whatever size is useful.
“We are seeing more small groups getting together at shorter notice and more people wanting to do things without that broader command and control.”
Al Qaida remains the greatest terror threat to Britain, he said, but there continues to be a danger from Northern Ireland.
He said the aspiration of Republican groups would be to attack the mainland but stressed he had not seen any evidence of that so far.
There is a danger from Northern Ireland, we just don’t have any evidence of it, but we have to mention it anyway, because if we only talk about jihad groups, we’ll be “Islamophobic,” doncha know?
The comments came as new figures revealed the number of terror arrests had risen by 60 per cent in the year to September 2012.
A total of 245 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related offences in the period, compared with 153 in the previous 12 months, the Home Office said.