Britain’s security services have expressed fear that the end of lockdown will see a surge in attacks by lone wolf terrorists radicalised online during the Wuhan virus pandemic in the wake of Sir David Amess’s killing.
“Counter-terror police and MI5 have been concerned for some time that once we emerged out of lockdown there would be more people out on the streets and more targets for the terrorists,” a security source told The Telegraph, which is close to Britain’s governing Conservative Party, following the killing of Sir David Amess MP in a stabbing attack believed to have “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism” by police.
“Combined with the fact that lots of young people have been spending so much time online, it makes for a very worrying mix and there is a real concern about the possible rise of the bedroom radicals,” the source added.
“It’s a really important point actually, it really is. Coronavirus, pandemic, people being locked down at home, online, et cetera,” commented the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, during an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show.
“But what I would say, to put this into perspective, we have the best security and intelligence agencies in the world,” she told the BBC programme — despite recent revelations of massive failures by British intelligence ahead of the Manchester Arena bombing, for example, as well as the police and on-site security.
“I can’t sit and share with you [but] I know how they worked throughout the pandemic. I know the work that they do in terms of watching individuals – subjects of interest, tracking behaviours, monitoring anybody of interest,” she added.
In fact, many radical Islamic terrorists who have struck in Britain in recent years did so despite having previously come to the attention of the authorities, with some actually having been under active monitoring following previous terror convictions.
Full details of the state’s prior knowledge of the suspect in Sir David Amess’s killing are yet to be revealed, although it is said that he was previously reported to the Prevent deradicalisation programme.