Richard Walton, former counter-terrorism chief with Scotland Yard who led the Met Police’s anti-terror command until retiring in 2016, has spoken about how the fear of a firearms attack in London was a “constant anxiety” for both intelligence services and the police.
Mr Walton’s comments come as part of a BBC drama-documentary that was be aired on BBC2 at 21:00 last night (March 2nd). The Attack: Terror in the UK depicts a fictitious Islamic State plot that involves a drugs offender being radicalised in prison and encouraged to carry out a firearms attack in the capital, the London Evening Standard reports.
The former Met chief revealed that he lies awake at night worrying about the possibility of a mass casualty attack taking place in London, as well as expressing his concern about the likelihood of vulnerable inmates in prisons being radicalised by extremists.
“We have put a high number of individuals into prison for terrorist offences. Terrorists in prison can radicalise young vulnerable criminals to their cause and then incite and encourage them to go and commit terrorist attacks when they get released. There’s an opportunity for terrorists to exploit criminals in prison. Criminal gangs have far more access to firearms than most of our terrorists do,” he was quoted by the news source as saying.
It’s also possible that areas outside London will be targeted by terrorists because security measures won’t perhaps be as tight. This is what David Videcette, former Met Police counter-terror officer, recently made mention of, suggesting that terrorists could indeed be planning on exploiting more vulnerable parts of the UK.
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