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23,000 Potential Jihadis in Britain: MI5

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New beefed-up security at a concert in Manchester
New beefed-up security at a concert in Manchester (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

In an unusual announcement, Britain’s MI5 (secret service) revealed:

  • 23,000 potential jihadis are currently living in Britain
  • 3,000 potential terrorists are being investigated as “subjects of interest”
  • 500 terror investigations are currently active

Speaking to the media, a security source said, “It is difficult because becoming aware that someone is an extremist sympathizer does not make them a live and present danger.

“It is a balancing act – is the intelligence sufficient to push them up the list of priorities or should the focus be on someone else given the finite resources available?”

Sources also said the fact that Britain’s security agency publicized these numbers indicates that the agency wants the public to be aware of how difficult it is to investigate potential terror threats.

As the threat level was increased from “severe” to “critical” following the Manchester attack, security in the UK was increased, with the following measures implemented:

  • Armed police will patrol train in Britain.
  • Armed soldiers are now guarding the House of Parliament and the prime minister’s house.
  • Security is also guarding the Great Manchester Run, the Football Association cup final and the premiership rugby final.
  • The National Health Service (NHS) instructed 27 major trauma centers to be prepared in case of another attack.

Following the arrests of 11 suspects in connection with the Manchester bombing, the government reduced the threat level from “critical” back to “severe.” The deployment of soldiers under ‘Operation Temperer’ will continue until midnight on Monday to cover extra security for the national holiday weekend. After that, “a well-planned and gradual withdrawal of members of the armed forces” will take place.

 

 

 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org