Minister claims 25 terror plots have been foiled in three years

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Minister claims 25 terror plots have been foiled in three years

A government minister revealed the UK has foiled 25 terror plots in three years as he faced questions during the aftermath of the attack in a Reading park.

Security minister James Brokenshire said “in any week there may be hundreds of leads”, and agreed the government may need to change policy in light of the latest attack.

But he added the UK has “some of the finest security and intelligence services in the world” despite a “diverse” terror threat, MirrorOnline reports.

Mr Brokenshire claimed police and security services had prevented 25 attempted terrorist attacks during the last three years.

The claim comes after security sources said a suspect held over the knife attack in Reading that claimed the lives of three people came to the attention of MI5 last year.

The 25-year-old man, understood to be named Khairi Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene at Forbury Gardens and arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mr Brokenshire refused to confirm or deny reports the suspect was known to the security services.

“We don’t comment on issues of security – who is or is not subject to investigation or any interest to the security services”, he told Sky News.

But he insisted there is “plenty that is taking place to get justice”, adding: “This is a very live police investigation and I’m limited in what I can say this morning as a consequence”.

He added: “We are looking very closely at all of the facts and circumstances of this case and if there lessons that need to be learned, if there are things that need to be changed, if there’s policy that needs to be altered, then that is precisely what we will do.”

Minister claims 25 terror plots have been foiled in three years 1

Mr Brokenshire said the weekend attack was an “appalling, evil and callous act” but warned against making “generalities” about so-called lone wolf attacks.

“We’ve seen this change and shift with the growth of right wing terrorism as well as Islamist related terrorism,” he told BBC Breakfast. “We guard against all these different types of risk and threat.”

The Security Minister said the public should be “alert but not alarmed”.

He told Sky the terror threat level is substantial, meaning an attack is “likely”, but “we have to live our lives – we have to go about our daily lives in the way we can under these extraordinary restrictions we’re all under.”

He praised emergency services and “brave members of the public”, telling Sky News: “It’s a shocking and callous act that we have seen in Reading and our thoughts are very firmly with those who’ve been affected, who are grieving, who’ve lost loved ones”.

School teacher James Furlong, 36, and American expat Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, have been named as two of the victims.

Two other people injured in the attack remain in hospital, while one has now been discharged.

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