Whatever happened to the 23,000 potential jihadis in the UK?
Following the Westminster attack in March last year which killed five including PC Keith Palmer, the Manchester arena attack two months later in which 22 died, and the London Bridge attack a year ago which killed eight, we were told that there could be as many as 23,000 potential jihadis in the UK whom the authorities could not monitor.
This was far more than the figure previously released by the Home Office at the time of the Manchester bombing, when ‘it was revealed the security services had 500 live investigations into more than 3,000 suspected radical jihadis, including about 400 people who have remarkably been allowed to return to our shores after fighting with terror group Islamic State in Syria’.
Round-the-clock monitoring of terror suspects is possible in only a handful of cases due to limited resources. I wonder how much this has contributed to the rising murder rate in London?
If resources have to be used to monitor terror suspects, and there are close to 23,000 ‘in the mix’, this stops the prevention of other serious crime.
This report from the Telegraph earlier this month tells me that ‘an extra 1,000 security services staff will also be recruited to collect and analyse data as well as keep suspects under better surveillance’. Mmmm, I am not sure an extra 1,000 is going to cut it.
In 2014 Professor Peter Neumann, an expert on terrorism from King’s College London, said ‘it takes 20, 25 people to keep somebody under surveillance 24/7’.
That means the extra 1,000 security staff (who must be still recruited) can put another 40 suspected terrorists under 24/7 surveillance. Forty, when there are perhaps close to 23,000 out there.
We can be thankful that so far this summer has been terror attack-free. But those 23,000 ‘potential jihadis’ have not gone away. And all the time the crime rate in London creeps higher and higher.