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Protecting the public from terrorism

The government has published its annual report on work to protect the UK from terrorism

Responding to the threat from terrorism remains a top priority, the Home Secretary said today.

Publishing the annual report for CONTEST, the government’s strategy for countering terrorism, the Home Secretary set out what has been done to keep the country safe and prevent terror attacks, including during the Olympics.

Terrorism

Since 2005 there have been no mass casualty attacks in Great Britain. But a number of serious attempted attacks have been foiled. In the 12 months to September 2012, 45 people were charged with terrorism-related offences. The principal terrorist threat to the UK and our interests overseas continues to come from Al Qa’ida, its affiliates, other groups and lone terrorists. Achievements

Since the publication of CONTEST in July 2011, we delivered a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games that will be remembered as a spectacular sporting event.

Other achievements included:

  • implementing a new Prevent strategy
  • improving security arrangements at the border
  • strengthening our capability to respond to ‘Mumbai-style’ terror attacks involving firearms.

Challenges

While depleted in numbers and capability, Al Qa’ida continues to operate in Pakistan and along the Afghan border and aspires to conduct terrorist attacks in the UK. The terrorist threats we face are now dispersed across a wider geographical area, often in countries without effective governance.

Operating in these places is difficult, dangerous, requires significant resources and is complicated and at times made impossible by the breakdown of governance and law and order. Our strategy will need to adapt in order to stay ahead of the threat.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

The report makes it clear that the threat from terrorism is changing but remains substantial. We need to continue to detect, prosecute and otherwise disrupt terrorist threats. We must develop our Prevent work to respond to the challenge from domestic radicalisation and home-grown terrorism.

We must continue to strengthen our border security. We will work with other countries and multilateral organisations to deal with the new international terrorist threats.

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