London mayor Boris Johnson said that police are monitoring thousands of suspected jihadists, amid rising concerns over the potential threat of terrorism in the UK.
The UK has recently raised its terrorism threat level to severe, with an estimated 500 Britons having left the country for Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State.
“In London we’re very, very vigilant and very, very concerned. Every day – as you saw recently, we had to raise the threat level – every day the security services are involved in thousands of operations,” Mayor Johnson said.
“Probably of the five or six hundred that are out there, we think a third, maybe more — maybe half — come from the London area. If and when they come back, we have a real job to deal with them,” he told the Telegraph.
Police in London recently arrested five men suspected of planning on carrying out a “significant” terrorist plot.
“The threat level to police officers and staff has been heightened, but we are used to confronting risk and danger, this is what we do on a daily basis, and we are well trained,” said Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, who is the national policing lead for counter-terrorism.
“We are informing our officers and staff of the heightened risk and reminding them to remain vigilant and alert to any possible dangers.”