Britain Warns of 'Exceptionally High' Level of Anti-Terrorism ActivityReuters (10/17/14)
The number of counterterrorism investigations being carried out by British authorities is at a level that has not been seen in years, British national policing spokesman for counterterrorism Mark Rowley said Friday. Rowley noted that 218 terrorism suspects have been arrested so far this year, 14 of whom were arrested this month alone. Rowley added that several terrorist plots, including some directed by organizations based in Syria, are being disrupted each year. These plots have run the gamut from spontaneous lone-wolf attacks to more complex plans involving groups of people, Rowley said. One senior official speaking on condition of anonymity said the terrorists behind some of these plots have come perilously close to carrying them out. Rowley also reported that British authorities have carried out roughly 100 "Syria-related preventative activities," more than half of which have resulted in individuals being referred to programs designed to help them adopt less radical beliefs. Rowley's comments are seen as another indication of the concern British authorities have about a potential terrorist attack in the U.K.