British authorities have thwarted five terrorist attacks in the past three to four months, the Metropolitan Police commissioner has confirmed. Some of them were “within minutes” of being carried out.
“Just in the last few weeks, five [have been foiled]. And overall, it’s well into the teens in the last couple of years where we know people were intent on attacking and that’s been stopped,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told LBC radio on Friday, later clarifying that they were thwarted “over the last three to four months.”
“Some of them, we would say, were very close to an attack – very close,” she said.
When asked by radio host Nick Ferrari as to whether those attacks were “minutes away,” Dick responded by saying “yes.”
She also said that “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of radicalized people who were “either spreading hatred or supporting terrorism or want[ed] to carry out a terrorist attack” have been arrested.
Dick said the UK is seeing examples of violent extremists who are “homegrown” and are “living in our communities.”
“That’s a problem for all of us,” she said, noting the importance of determining what needs to be done to prevent people from becoming radicalized, and to prevent radicalized people from becoming violent.
She went on to say that although people are standing up to condemn radicalized behavior and inform authorities of their concerns, more still needs to be done.
“We clearly need a lot more, because what happened in the last few months alone is horrific,” she said, referring to the recent terrorist attacks to hit the UK.
Dick’s comments come just weeks after a terror attack at London Bridge killed eight people and injured 48 others in the British capital. Just one month prior, an attack at a concert in Manchester killed 23 people and injured 250 others.
In March, a terrorist attack near the Houses of Parliament killed five people, including a police officer, after the perpetrator rammed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.