UK terror convictions rising, BBC research reveals

According to a BBC database, over 100 people in the UK have been convicted of terrorism offences related to Syria and Iraq since 2014.

The BBC, which has tracked the numbers of people from the UK who have been drawn into the conflict in Syria and Iraq, claims that it is the most comprehensive online record of its kind.

The data shows that there has been a ‘rapidly escalating number of prosecutions since 2014’, with 85 per cent of the 109 people convicted having never been to Syria or Iraq. Most the offences relate to people intending to go and fight but who were arrested before putting their plans into action. Other offences included the use of social media to encourage support for banned groups such as ISIS.

Counter terror police in the UK say that five terror plots have been foiled since March and 18 thwarted since 2013, showing an increase in the amount of people being radicalised in the UK.

Speaking to the BBC, Alison Saunders, director of Public Prosecutions, said: "We need to be acutely aware that if people can't go to Syria - and we have certainly seen this in some of the cases we have prosecuted - they may plan a sort of an attack here instead or they may do more to radicalise other people here to attack so we need to be very aware of that."

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