WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 13 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Concerns rise over teenagers plotting ‘real threat’ terror attacks on schools

Concerns rise over teenagers plotting ‘real threat’ terror attacks on schools

Pic: Patrick Maguire
Self Portrait: Patrick Maguire

A staggering number of reports of potential terrorist threats concerning children, mainly boys as young as 13, who are fixated upon mass shootings and terrorist activities call for police attention.

The Metropolitan police at a recent briefing at Scotland Yard expressed how important their interventions are in connection with young people and terrorist plotting, to prevent them potentially carrying out attacks in their schools.

‘The police have stopped eight late-stage terror plots in the last year. These are cases in which a subject had identified their target and already acquired a weapon, before the police had intervened to stop the potential attack from initially happening,’ Met counter-terror head, Matt Jukes stated.

He further reported that the number of investigations into state threats had “quadrupled” within the last two years, resulting in a “really significant shift” in focus for teams analysing terror investigations.

It has been stressed that a growing online culture in recent years rife with misogyny, racism, antisemitism, and homophobia has led to such terrorist plotting, along with the glorification and visibility of past terrorist events in the United States. Matt Jukes described this as a “really toxic mix” for young children.

The Security Agency’s Director General, Ken McCallum, revealed in November 2022 that there was at least 10 plots since January by Iranian intelligence services to kidnap or kill British or “UK-based” individuals considered enemies of the regime or culture. This has since raised to 15 accounts of state threatening plots. As a result, counter-terrorism policing has now shifted their focus from an exclusive attention to the threat of terrorism to the threat from foreign states.

“Missions outside of terrorism” such as tackling state threats, espionage, and investigating war crimes now account for roughly 20% of the police’s casework, in collaboration with MI5, after Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.