UK plans to cope with terrorist attack altered in wake of Paris shootings, says chief anti-terror officer

Around 600 people have been recruited by Isis, say government

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Plans to tackle Isis and militant groups in the UK are being changed as the Paris shootings were “not everything we anticipated,” the chief anti-terror officer claims.

The so-called Islamic State is said to be unlike any other threat Britain has faced due to the organisation’s ability to recruit “misfits, criminals and the vulnerable” from Britain, the Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said.


The announcement was made in relation to the deaths of 17 people, including those in attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and a kosher supermarket.

Mr Rowley said on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show: “In terms of our national firearms capability, we’ve asked is it strong enough? How is it placed? How is it organised?”

“You look at an event like Paris and you think not everything in that we anticipated, so we’re going to have to make some refinements to our plans to improve,” he added.

Islamic State, also known as Isis or IS, is not a “classic terrorist organisation” as they “create a corrupt cult of people, followers who will act in their name,” Mr Rowley said.

Ziamani allegedly wrote of the 'Islamic State of Ireland and Britain'

His fears echo those expressed by Prince Charles over how young people are being radicalised at an “alarming” rate in their own local areas or over the internet.

Around 600 people are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK since the conflict began and around half have returned home.

Police have recently strengthened their cyber resources, leading to 1,000 “unsavoury” posts a week being taken down.

However, Mr Rowley said more money is needed to grow the anti-terror unit over the next year and discussions with the Government for funding are ongoing.