Threat from ‘lone wolf’ terrorists complex & growing, warns Priti Patel

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LONDON: In the wake of the Reading attack, Home Secretary Ms Patel told MPs the terror threat the UK faced was “complex, diverse and rapidly changing”. She added: “It is clear that the threat posed by lone actors is growing.”

A Libyan man KhairiSaadallah, 25, remains in custody following Saturday’s attack in a Reading park, in which three victims were killed and three others seriously injured.

Priti Patel

Mr Saadallah was released on appeal from HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire just two weeks before the mass stabbing.

Updating MPs on the incident, Ms Patel said it had been a “sudden and savage knife attack” as innocent people had enjoyed a summer evening with friends.

Police officers had responded with “great courage and great speed”, she said.

She paid particular tribute to student officers, saying they had shown courage and selflessness “beyond their years”.

Since 2017 the security services have foiled 25 terrorist plots including eight driven by right-wing ideologies, she told MPs.

There have been a series of attacks on UK soil by so-called ‘lone wolf” terrorists in recent years, including the attack on Westminster Bridge in 2017.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds called for a comprehensive review of how prisoners are deradicalised and another into how law enforcement agencies can work together.

He also warned Ms Patel that in the wake of another terror attack, just months after the attack on London Bridge last November the “country will want answers”.