Although the British public had recently been led to believe that there were only about 3,000 known jihadists in the country, which has recently been subject to a number of despicable terrorist attacks, government sources have now admitted that the number of radicalized jihadists inside the United Kingdom is actually closer to 23,000.
The same British government officials who once lowballed the number of dangerous terrorists have now come forward to claim that there are an additional 20,000 individuals who allegedly pose a “residual risk” of carrying out a deadly attack, The Times reported.
Among that group of 20,000 potential threats was Khalid Masood, who orchestrated the grisly car-and-knife attack outside the Palace of Westminster in March 2017. He was not under active surveillance despite having been reported to the authorities prior to the incident. Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi was also reported but was not properly investigated.
According to Senior National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism Neil Basu, terror suspects are being hauled in “on a near daily basis” in the wake of the Manchester attack as officials scramble to ensure that no such atrocity takes place in the future. Still, many prominent figures in the British intelligence community have decried the findings.
“To have 23,000 potential killers in our midst is horrifying,” said Anthony Glees, director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies and a prominent skeptic of the government’s estimation of only 3,000 jihadists living in the UK.
“We should double the size of MI5, as we did in World War Two, and expand the number of intelligence-led police by thousands,” he suggested. “We can’t go on as if this wasn’t happening.”
Others, including former Joint Intelligence Committee member and special forces commander Colonel Richard Kemp, have called for mass deportations of foreign nationals on the terror watch list as a way to shore up governmental resources.
“We do not allow them to roam free on our streets and murder, and maim, and disfigure our children in the way they did in Manchester recently,” Kemp insisted.