Syria-related terror arrests spike in UK
In Britain the number of suspected terror offence arrests related to Syria increased sixfold in 2014, police say.
According to Scotland Yard, 165 Syria-related arrests were made throughout the UK in 2014, when only 25 were made in 2013, The Guardian reported on Friday.
The arrests were made for offences such as funding and commissioning terrorists, preparation or instigation of terror acts, and the attendance of a terrorist training camp.
In 2014, almost 330 arrests were made in cases related to terrorist offences.
“We have been running exceptionally high numbers of investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for many years. Several attack plots have been disrupted, of various sophistication, from individuals planning to carry out lone attacks to more complex conspiracies, the majority seemingly directed by or inspired by terrorism overseas,” said the senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing Helen Ball.
Last August, Britain upped its terror threat level from substantial to severe against a backdrop of heightening concerns over the hundreds of Brits travelling to Iraq and Syria to learn terrorist “tradecraft”.
“The partnership between police and MI5 is very effective, and we are experiencing very strong support from the communities. We will continue with this vital work to protect and work with the UK public to combat terrorism in all its forms,” she added.
Fears over an attack on UK soil have increased in the wake of threats posed by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists, who have attracted thousands of people, including over 500 Britons, to their cause.
ISIL controls parts of Iraq and Syria. The terrorists are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control. They have terrorized and killed people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.