Far-right terror threat 'growing' in UK

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has warned of the growing threat of far-right terrorism as he revealed that four extreme-right terror plots were disrupted last year.

Speaking at a Policy Exchange event, the retiring head of counter-terrorism policing also said that ten Islamist-inspired plots have been foiled since March last year, claiming that far-right extremists and Islamist extremists were working in similar ways - creating intolerance, exploiting grievances, and generating distrust of state institutions.

Of the four attempted far-right plots, three are yet to come to trial. However, last month white supremacist Ethan Stables was convicted of plotting an axe and machete attack on a gay pride event at a pub in Barrow.

According to MI5, there are currently more than 600 live investigations and more than 3,000 people of interest at any one time.

Rowley said: "Islamist and right-wing extremism is reaching into our communities through sophisticated propaganda and subversive strategies creating and exploiting vulnerabilities that can ultimately lead to acts of violence and terrorism.

"Ten conspiracies of an Islamist nature were stopped since the Westminster attack. And I can tell you today that over the same period police have been able to prevent a further four extreme, right-wing inspired plots in the UK.

"In the noise and focus on the global threat, and what we've wrestled with with Daesh, I don't think the change and growth in extreme right-wing terrorist threat has been explained or described well enough - and that's one of the things I wanted to do."

Rowley also used his speech to urge social media companies to do more to combat extremism, saying that they can ‘exert a massive amount of control both on the day-to-day management’ of their sites and can consider how ‘they design their platforms and their operating systems’ in the future.

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