London: The British police and MI5 foil a plot as big as the July 7 attacks every year, the country’s second most senior terror officer has revealed.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne warned that Britain is facing the most complex terror threat in its history.
Osborne, who is the senior national coordinator for counter terrorism, said that ‘on average they have foiled one potential attack planned with intent to create something similar to July 7 every year’.
He said the threat is constantly changing with al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic extremists now plotting in smaller, harder-to-detect groups, the Telegraph reports.
According to the report, the danger is coming from an increasing number of countries around the world and there is also a growing threat from republican groups in Northern Ireland, who would attack mainland Britain if they could.
Last month, three men were convicted of planning to kill hundreds of people in the UK with up to eight suicide bombers after concluding the 7/7 attacks had ‘not done enough damage’.
Osborne, who is senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism, said he fears that terror cells could either team up with organized crime gangs or mirror their practices, bringing a new kind of threat to the UK, the report said.
He said that al Qaida remains the greatest terror threat to Britain, but there continues to be a danger from Northern Ireland.
According to the report, the comments came as new figures revealed the number of terror arrests had risen by 60 percent in the year to September 2012.
The Home Office said that a total of 245 people were held on suspicion of terrorism-related offences in the period, compared with 153 in the previous 12 months, the report added.