The UK: a new target of terrorism

(VOVworld) – One year after a terrorist attack in Belgium killed 32 people and injured hundreds more, the world was shocked by an attack at the British Parliament in London. It was the worst attack in Britain since a bomb attack on the metro network on July 7, 2005, killed 60 people.

The UK: a new target of terrorism - ảnh 1
Armed police shot the attacker (top left) after he ran past the security and stabbed a police officer (botton right) (photo:

Five people were killed and 50 others injured in a London attack on Wednesday. The attack was similar to recent attacks in Nice, France, and Berlin, Germany. British Prime Minister Theresa May appealed unity.

From risks to reality

Before the attacks, analysts had warned that IS militants and “lone wolf” terrorists hiding in Britain would launch attacks in retaliation for Britain backing airstrikes on Mosul, Iraq. Professor Richard English, a terrorism researcher at Queen’s University said attacks on British targets was just a matter of time. Max Hill, a British expert on terrorism law, said in February that IS was planning “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians” in many cities in Britain. In an interview with ITV on February 26, Home Affairs Minister Amber Rudd agreed with Hill’s assessment of the terrorist threat in Britain. Early last year, IS posted a video on the Internet threatening to attack Britain.

British police discovered equipment and arrested suspected terrorists late last year. Although security agencies foiled 13 terrorist plots over the past 4 years, they were signs of “lone-wolfs” in Britain.

Response from the administration

In August, 2014, Minister of Home Affairs Theresa May, who is now Prime Minister, ordered security forces on alert for terrorist threats. Security on streets and at metro stations was strengthened. The terror threat level has been set at the serious level over the past two and a half years. Berlin’s anti-terrorist force has received additional staff, and Military Intelligence, MI6, will recruit another 1,000 agents in the next 5 years. MI5 and Government Communications Headquarters will hire up to 1,000 more staff. MI6 Director Alex Younger said Britain will allocate 2.5 billion pounds to intelligence and security agencies to ensure sufficient resources to foil any terrorist plot.

Britain has strengthened international anti-terrorism cooperation. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault agreed that they will stand side by side in the fight against terrorism.

But despite warnings and preparation, a terrorist attack occurred in the heart of London Wednesday. Detecting and preventing terrorism is a steep challenge not only in Britain but all around the world.

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