Terror plot linked to ISIS ‘is identified every fortnight’: At least 32 attacks in ten Western countries have been thwarted since July last year, report finds


Originally published by The Daily Mail

A terror plot linked to Islamic State is identified in the West every fortnight, a major report has revealed.

At least 32 attacks inspired by the Islamist group were either carried out or thwarted since July last year, according to new research.

The plots were detected in 10 countries, including three in Britain, a study by the Henry Jackson Society think-tank revealed.

The report, published today, comes after ministers launched a crackdown on four notorious British jihadists who have travelled to Syria to lure sympathisers into causing carnage on UK streets.

So-called ‘Mrs Terror’ Sally Jones, 46, privately-educated Aqsa Mahmood, 20, ex-medical student Nasser Muthana, 20, and former security guard Omar Hussain, 27, were placed on a UN blacklist.

The extremists, who are trying to fuel terror attacks on the UK from Syria, will have their assets frozen and be put on ‘no-fly’ lists.

In the latest report, author Robin Simcox said in 75 per cent of cases IS propaganda carried on social media sites such as Twitter had been ‘integral’ to inspiring a plot.

On five occasions, IS militants were said to have encouraged individuals to carry out attacks in their home countries without providing ‘operational guidance’.

In one case, in Belgium in January 2015, a foiled plot involved fighters who had previously travelled to Iraq and Syria and had returned to their home country to carry out an atrocity.

The three alleged thwarted attacks in Britain include five Muslim men who are facing trial in connection with a terror plot to shoot and kill police officers or soldiers on the streets of London.

In another case, three men were arrested for allegedly preparing a terrorist plot to behead a member of the public at a Remembrance Day service last year.

And a delivery driver was charged in July this year with planning to carry out a Lee Rigby-style terror outrage on American servicemen in the UK in an IS-inspired knife and bomb attack.

The research showed that 74 per cent of plots studied were by people under age of 25, 29 per cent were Islamic converts and 22 per cent already had criminal records.

The US was targeted in the highest number of alleged plots, with 12, followed by Australia and France. Twelve people died in IS-linked attacks on the West – eight in Europe, and two each in Canada and Australia.

Mr Simcox said: ‘The Islamic State presents a clear danger to Western security. Over-stretched police and security services are struggling to keep up with the vast scale of the threat.

‘Those carrying out plots associated with the Islamic State are often radicalised young men who very rarely had any military training.

‘They have been effective in planning simple attacks using guns and knives to target members of the public, the military and the police. Such plots are notoriously difficult to prevent.’

Earlier this month, the head of MI5 warned that Britain was facing an unprecedented terror threat with home-grown fanatics are being radicalised to the point of violence within weeks.

In an unprecedented interview, Director General Andrew Parker said people who had ‘been born and brought up here’ now viewed Britain as the ‘enemy’.

He revealed the Security Service and police had already stopped six mass casualty attacks this year.


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