FAR-Right extremists present the fastest growing terrorist threat in the UK, one of Britain’s top police chiefs revealed yesterday.
Neil Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism, said seven of the 22 plots foiled since March 2017 have been linked to the far-Right. Around 80 of the 800 live investigations were linked to Right-wing terrorism.
The Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner said yesterday: “It’s small but it’s my fastest-growing problem. Despite the increases, Right-wing terrorism remains a relatively small percentage of our overall demand. But when nearly a third of the plots foiled by police and security services since 2017 relate to Right-wing ideology, it lays bare why we are taking this so seriously.
“As a proportion of our overall threat it’s definitely increasing, whereas the Islamist threat is staying the same, albeit at a very high level.”
The number of referrals to the Government’s Prevent programme for suspected Right-wing extremism has nearly doubled since 2015/16 to 18 percent of all referrals. Mr Basu said Islamist terrorism is still the biggest security threat in Britain.
But he said counter-terror police and the security services have disrupted Right-wing plots “designed to kill people”.
Methods have mimicked those seen in jihadist plots, including knife attacks and attempts to create improvised explosive devices.
Others have used trademark Islamic State materials.
Mr Basu said the National Action group has been “decimated” since it was banned in December 2016, with small groups or individuals now operating across international borders online.
He said: “The lone actor threat is the biggest problem.”PROMOTED STORY
The officer added that young people and those with mental health issues are particularly vulnerable to becoming radicalised.
And children as young as 14 have been linked to Rightwing terrorism.
Mr Basu said: “We are bringing the full might of the UK counter-terrorism machine to bear against those extremists of any ideology who wish to do us harm or incite violence. And that is evident not only in the number of plots we have foiled, but also the number of convictions we have achieved and continue to chase through the courts.”
Last week white supremacist Vincent Fuller, 50, was jailed for 18 years and nine months for stabbing 19-year-old Dimitar Mihaylov in what a judge called a terrorist act.
Three other Right-wing terrorists, including a 16-year-old neo-Nazi are due to be sentenced in London and Leeds on Friday.
But Mr Basu warned that police cannot simply arrest their way out of this problem.
He called on the public to come forward if they fear a friend or family member is becoming radicalised.
He added: “I have been called ridiculously idealistic, but I believe more than ever that evil triumphs when good people do nothing.
“In the UK the Prevent programme is full of people who get up every day to do something to protect those who need our help.
“And I believe that is worth defending and fighting for.”