Terror threat in Britain accelerated by Israel-Hamas conflict

Ministers are set to hold an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss concerns the Israel-Hamas conflict could “accelerate” the chance of a terror attack in the United Kingdom.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is reportedly meeting national security bosses and police chiefs at Number 10 to assess the domestic security risk, reports The Times. It will be the first such meeting since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7.

The meeting is said to have been called after the most senior police officer in England’s biggest force raised concerns about a knock-on effect from the war in the Middle East. The conflict has also seen large-scale protests across the UK and abroad.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force was facing a “particularly challenging time”. He said there had been a surge in hate crime and unrest, which he said was caused by Iranian agents.

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He told Sky News: “When you’ve got state threats from Iran, you’ve got terrorism being accelerated by the events and hate crime in communities.

“For Jewish communities, it is now a 14-fold increase in antisemitism in London and for Muslim communities it is nearly threefold. So this is really precarious. In the middle of it we’ve got these big protests.”

Almost 100 people have been arrested in London since the Hamas attacks. Rowley believes there will be “many, many more arrests” over the next week or so.

It comes as officers have been tracking down people who breached public order or terrorism laws at recent protests.

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Five people have already been charged with offences including displaying a racist placard and assaulting a police officer after the third pro-Palestine protest in London.

The current terror threat level in England, Wales and Scotland is “substantial”, which means officials think an attack is “likely”. It has been at this level since February 9 last year when it was downgraded from “severe”, meaning at attack is “highly likely”.

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