'United Kingdom' in Kfir, I., Patel, S., and Batt, M. (Eds), Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018 (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 2018) 141-149
'United Kingdom' in Kfir, I., Patel, S., and Batt, M. (eds), Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018 (Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, 2018) 141-149
9 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 4, 2018
The paper considers 'Counterterrorism in the United Kingdom' with reference to events in 2017. While exit from Europe dominated British politics during 2017, the UK’s terrorism landscape grew closer to that of continental Europe because of several mass-casualty terrorist attacks that were very similar to earlier events in France and Germany. However, if 2017 was the ‘Year of Steel’ (reflecting the weaponisation of vehicles and kitchen knives), it was also a year of steely resolve in the response to terrorism. There were no dramatic declarations of emergency, emergency legislation, round-ups of suspects or closed borders. In consequence, there were more continuities than discontinuities in the counterterrorism (CT) context and background in 2017. The main threat remained international Islamist terrorism. The threat level became Critical (an attack is imminent) for a few days after the Manchester attack in May 2017 and again in the aftermath of an attempted bombing on a tube train at Parson’s Green in September. Otherwise, the level has remained at Severe (an attack is highly likely) since August 2014. Despite the shocks of 2017, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared that Islamist terrorism isn’t ‘an existential threat’. Even more constant is the threat of Northern Ireland (mainly dissident Republican) terrorism (Severe in Northern Ireland and Substantial—attack being a strong possibility—in Britain, which are unchanged since they were first published in 2010). Outside Northern Ireland, any nexus with organised crime remains tenuous. CT policy and legislation also remained steady in 2017.
Keywords: Terrorism, counter-terrorism, 2017 attacks
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation