Scotland Yard Warns Another Terror Attack in UK ‘Highly Likely’ During Christmas Season
© Photo : Metropolitan PoliceThe sign outside the Metropolitan Police's New Scotland Yard headquarters
© Photo : Metropolitan Police
The UK terror threat level was raised to "severe" after an explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital on 14 November, when an improvised device carried by the passenger killed him and injured the driver. Police declared it a terrorist incident. Earlier, on15 October, MP David Amess was fatally stabbed during a constituency surgery.
Scotland Yard’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist has appealed to the UK public to demonstrate extra vigilance in the run-up to Christmas as the Severe terror threat level means “another attack is highly likely”.
According to the senior counter terrorism officer, who appeared on GB News, the public could play a vital role in preventing another terrorist attack. DAC Twist, Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, sought to reassure viewers, saying there was no need for undue alarm.
However, he urged people to be alert to anything out of the ordinary as they went about their normal business.
“This is the first Christmas for a couple of years where there are lots of people who are going to be together and there's lots of big events going on that we want people to go and enjoy,” said Twist. He added:
“But we also know that the terrorist threat level has been raised to severe after the two awful attacks in Essex and in Liverpool and we just want the public to be vigilant.”
Twist advised people to reach out to the police if they felt something was suspicious. “And the message is very clear, by telling us about something, by phoning us you're not going to ruin somebody’s life but you might just save a life.”
© SputnikMetropolitan Police
After the recent terrorist attacks, enhanced police patrols will be operating in urban centres across the UK throughout the holiday period. Uniformed and undercover officers from Project Servator have been deployed to parts of the West End, according to the outlet. Project Servator is a collaborative community strategy relying on local people and businesses to be the “eyes and ears” for the police.
PC Chris Habayeb, a member of the Servator team based at Charing Cross police station, was cited as saying that deployment had taken on heightened significance in the wake of the increase in the terror threat level to Severe. Employed tactics involved using high visibility uniformed patrols backed up by covert teams, with local people providing on-the-ground intelligence.
“We’re engaging members of the public and local businesses. They are our eyes and ears when we’re not around,” said Habayeb.
While authorities have not clarified whether there is any specific intelligence of planned attacks in the coming months, it was emphasised that a raised threat level means it is likely “a matter of when, rather than if.”
15 November 2021, 14:30 GMT
The UK terror threat level had been raised to "severe" after an explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital. Taxi driver David Perry survived the blast but his passenger, Al-Swealmeen, 32, was killed when the homemade bomb exploded shortly before 11:00 GMT on Remembrance Sunday.
© REUTERS / CARL BESSANTA taxi is engulfed in flames after explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in England, United Kingdom, on Sunday Nov 14, 2021, left a passenger dead and the driver injured
A taxi is engulfed in flames after explosion outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in England, United Kingdom, on Sunday Nov 14, 2021, left a passenger dead and the driver injured
The explosion in Liverpool was the second incident in a month, after Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed multiple times during a meeting with his constituents in Essex on 15 October.
© AP Photo / Matt DunhamImages of British Member of Parliament David Amess are displayed opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, placed there as a memorial by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Monday, Oct. 18, 2021
Images of British Member of Parliament David Amess are displayed opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, placed there as a memorial by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Monday, Oct. 18, 2021
© AP Photo / Matt Dunham
25-year-old British citizen, Ali Harbi Ali, believed to have expressed extremist Islamist beliefs, was arrested at the scene and later detained under the Terrorism Act. On 21 October, he was charged with murder and preparing terrorist acts of terrorism between 1 May 2019 and September this year. A provisional trial date has been was set for 7 March 2022.