The fastest-growing terror threat in the UK comes from far-right extremism, police have said. Neil Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism, said seven of the 22 plots foiled since March 2017 have been linked to the ideology.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said around 10 percent of 800 live investigations now involve far-right extremists – a “significant increase” on previous years. However, he added that Islamist jihadism was “still by far globally the biggest threat people face”.
Mr. Basu said about 10% of around 800 live terror investigations were linked to right-wing extremism. Children as young as 14 have been involved in extremist activity, the briefing was told.
He also said the government’s terrorism-prevention program, Prevent, which aims to stop people being radicalized, has seen referrals nearly doubling since 2015/16 to 18%.
Mr. Basu added young people and those with mental health issues were particularly vulnerable to becoming radicalized.
Counterterror police warned that the terror threat comes from all strands of right-wing extremism, even those that do not openly call for violence. They gave the English Defence League and Football Lads’ Alliance as examples of “cultural nationalism”, which is dominated by anti-Islamic and anti-immigration views.
The briefing was also told the threat comes from a “spectrum” of right-wing ideologies. They range from far-right groups that are anti-immigration and anti-Islam and so-called white nationalists through to neo-Nazi white supremacists, such as National Action and its spin-offs, System Resistance Network and Sonnenkrieg Division.
Since last year the Security Service MI5 has been working closely with counter-terrorism police to tackle the threat. He warned that right-wing extremists had been learning from Isis’s successful propaganda strategy and even using the group’s manuals to plan their own attacks using knives, vehicles, and bombs.
While praising Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream platforms for taking down more hate speech, Mr. Basu said the crackdown was driving extremists onto more secure platforms like Telegram that are less accessible to both the public and security services.