MI5 to increase monitoring after death of ISIS leader
British intelligence agencies are carrying out increased monitoring of subjects of interest after the death of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to safeguard against the possibility of revenge attacks in the UK.
On 28 October, US President Donald Trump told press outside the White House that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who came to prominence in Iraq and Syria in 2014, detonated his suicide vest after fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs. The announcement has seen as a major victory for the US, UK and all of their allies, at a time when Trump faces heavy criticism for his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria.
The response to his death by MI5 is believed to cover approximately 3,000 people in the UK and abroad who are believed by the intelligence agency to have connections to ISIS or who could be inspired by the group to launch terrorist attacks in Britain.
Despite the heightened surveillance, there are no plans to adjust the overall threat level, which remains at severe, to critical, when an attack is deemed ‘highly likely in the near future’. This means that a terrorist attack is still considered highly likely by the intelligence agencies.
ISIS remains the most prominent threat to the UK, even though it had already been dramatically weakened before the death of Baghdadi.
The US military has published the first footage of the raid in northern Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.