Asecret intelligence report seen by the UK’s Sunday Telegraph has suggested that there are thousands of militants in Britain, with extremist cells concentrated in London, Birmingham and Luton. The document also states the UK will remain “a high-priority target” for al-Qaeda for the foreseeable future.
Apparently, the leaked document marked “restricted” was prepared by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and by their counter-intelligence agencies, MI5 and Special Branch, and allegedly cites estimates from the UK’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre that there are “some thousands of extremists in the UK committed to supporting Jihadi activities.” The document reportedly describes the threat from Islamist extremists as “diverse and widely distributed.”
The UK’s current official threat level is classed as being “Severe,” one down from the highest level, “Critical,” which means an attack is imminent.
Since 2001, over 1,200 terrorist suspects have been arrested in Britain, over 140 have been charged and more than 45 have been convicted of terrorism offences, according to the UK’s Home Office figures.
Since Canada and the United Kingdom are similar democracies and share many of the same demographics and immigration sources, I believe it is reasonable for one to conclude that a similar threat from Islamist extremists exists in our country and that we too are a high-priority target for al-Qaeda.