Hogan-Howe, london police commissioner says terror attack in Britain a case of “when, not if”.
In an article on Daily Mail, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, admitted that a terror attack on the British soil is highly likely.
Hogan-Howe acknowledged fears of Britain being the “next victim” in the wake of recent terror attacks sweeping Europe.
“I feel and understand that fear, and as the police officer in charge of preventing such an attack, I know you want me to reassure you. I am afraid I cannot do that entirely,” he said. “Our threat level has been at ‘Severe’ for two years. It remains there. It means an attack is highly likely – you could say it is a case of when, not if.”
Attempting to reassure the public, he explained that the country had not been attacked yet because terror plots had been foiled while there was a strong relationship between the intelligence services and police.
He also mentioned that the last act of terrorism in the country was the murder of British Army soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.
The police chief praised the UK’s geography as a main obstacle for terrorists, saying, “the simple fact we are an island means that terrorists in the UK would struggle to get the firearms required to repeat attacks similar to those we have seen on the Continent [Europe].”
Speaking on Britain’s treatment of Muslims, he claimed that the country is tolerant and accepting of them.
However, according to the anti-Muslim hate monitoring group, Tell MAMA, there has been a 326 percent increase in Islamophobic incidents in 2015. They also warned that the heightened racial tensions amid the UK’s vote to leave the European Union would increase attacks against Muslims.
Europe has been hit with a wave of terrorism in recent years. Last November, terrorist attacks in Paris claimed the lives of 130 people. In March, 32 people died in twin bombings in Belgium, and just last month, 84 people were killed when a lorry rammed into crowds in the French city of Nice.