Britain thwarted a Sydney-style ‘lone wolf’ attack just days before it was due to happen, London’s top policeman said on Wednesday. He also told LBC radio that his force had foiled five terror plots in the last four months alone.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, said in an interview on LBC Radio: “They’ve been very close to going and hurting somebody, badly, or killing them … within days,”
“In terms of plots over this last four months really it’s probably five. And we’ve arrested I think it’s about 35 people.”
In August the UK raised its terror level to severe fearing an similiar attack to that on Lee Rigby, the soldier who was beheaded in Woolwich. The attack was launched by two Islamic fundamentalists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.
Since the terror threat was raised to severe both the Police and Military have been warned personel about wearing their uniforms in public for fear of an attack. Britain has at least 500 terrorists fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with many more believed to be in the UK.
Whilst the security services monitor these extremists, there has always been a fear that one loner could launch an attack. This was the case in both Australia and in the recent attack on the Canadian Parliament.
Police fear that lone terrorists are far harder to track and it can be impossible to calculate which individuals or buildings are at risk.