- Britain’s domestic intelligence service MI5 says the terror threat in the UK is higher than ever before.
- It is unclear whether the fall of Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, will lead to an increase in attacks in the near term, but retaliatory attacks may occur when authorities least expect them.
- The lack of Arab Sunni political power in the Middle East continues to motivate the rise of radical Islamist groups in the West.
The Islamic State’s declared capital of Raqqa, Syria fell to US-backed forces this week, yet intelligence officials in the UK are warning that the Islamist terrorist group is nevertheless “operating at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before,” according to the head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5.
Global security research organization The Soufan Center notes that while the threat from terrorist operations directly linked to ISIS remains high, attacks inspired by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups (but that are not directly linked to any single organization) are in fact more frequent. They also pose a greater threat to investigators because they are often harder to detect before they happen.
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Featured image of Exercise Arden, a European terror response drill courtesy of Wikimedia.