3 bomb plots foiled but number of UK teens arrested for terrorist offenses increases

3 bomb plots foiled but number of UK teens arrested for terrorist offenses increases

Counter-terrorism authorities expose worrying pattern among youths


British counter-terrorism police are warning of a developing trend in people under 18 being arrested for terror-related crimes. Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
British counter-terrorism cops are alerting of a developing trend in individuals under 18 being detained for terror-related criminal offenses. Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

The variety of teenagers arrested for terrorist offences in the UK is increasing.

Office figures for 2020 reveal that although more individuals under 18 were detained than in the previous year, the overall number of individuals arrested dropped to its least expensive level in nine years.

Britain’s intelligence services revealed 2 plots by Islamist extremists and one right-wing terrorist plot were avoided given that the beginning of the pandemic, bringing the number of foiled attacks given that March 2017 to 28.

Last year, the variety of individuals under 18 apprehended for terrorism increased by 4 percentage points.

The UK’s senior national co-ordinator for counter terrorism policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said a “worrying pattern” is developing.

” Unfortunately, we are seeing increasing varieties of youths detained in relation to terrorism,” he said.

“However it does not have to be this way. Ideally we would identify when a young adult is being led down the course towards terrorism activity and use the Prevent programme to attempt and put them on a different course.

“Our research study informs us that moms and dads, family members and friends are the first to see the modifications in behaviour which may show that a loved one is being radicalised.

” But currently simply 2 per cent of individuals we assist through Prevent concern the program due to the fact that of concerns raised by those same individuals who understand them best.”

On Thursday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that youngsters were radicalised during lockdown.

The UK taped a 7 per cent increase in 2020 from the previous year in the quantity of terrorism-related material viewed online and Mr Raab said the UK is tackling the propaganda “head on”.

“Terrorists have digital access to those who are most likely the most vulnerable to extremist narratives,” he stated.

” And we can see a distressing rise in the percentage of children and teenagers apprehended for terrorism offences.”

He said a significant issue was the “ideal storm” of youths stuck indoors during lockdown, and browsing the web to relieve their monotony where they were subjected to extremist indoctrination.

In 2020, there were 185 arrests for terrorist-related activity in Britain. An Office report stated all arrests were below the average as an outcome of the pandemic.

” The decreases might reflect the general reduction in criminal activity throughout this period when there were public health constraints in place to control the spread of the Covid-19 infection,” the report stated of terrorism-related arrests.

” This impact was most significant in April to June 2020 during the nationwide lockdowns in England and Wales with simply 31 arrests in that quarter.

” As restrictions were alleviated over the summer months, the variety of arrests increased, for example, as much as 53 arrests in the most recent quarter.”

Ninety percent of those detained were male.

Mr Haydon stated that terrorists continued to prepare attacks.

” These statistics tell me two things. That in spite of facing unmatched obstacles brought about by the pandemic, counter-terrorism policing continued to keep the public safe by making 185 arrests throughout more than 800 live investigations– stopping three possible fear attacks in the process,” he stated.

” Secondly, that while the rest of us have actually been focused on securing ourselves and our families from this horrible illness [coronavirus], terrorists have actually not stopped preparing attacks or radicalising susceptible people online.

” As we follow the government’s road map out of the tightest constraints, there will be higher opportunity for terrorists to run and we desire the public to join the police, security personnel and retail workers in a collective neighborhood effort to reduce the opportunity of attack.

” When we state that ‘communities beat terrorism’, it is not simply a catchphrase. We know from experience that public details and action help save lives and cause the considerable arrests detailed in these data.”

Last year, 54 people were tried for terrorism offences and 49 convicted.

There are 209 people in UK prisons for terrorism offences, 75 percent of whom were categorised as holding severe Islamist views.

Mr Raab stated the increase of violent internet brainwashing is at a “defining moment” and that the security services were combating difficult to fight the risk.

He said that ISIS was “still able to perform deadly attacks” and it stayed the UK’s “most substantial terrorist hazard”.

Updated: March 5, 2021 07: 00 PM

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