Terrorism in the UK

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A Homeland Security & Resilience Department One-Day Workshop

Terrorist actions are more numerous, widespread and increasingly atrocious, the threat to the UK remains clear and deadly.

The UK, and its economy, represents a prime target to Al-Qa’ida, its sympathisers, as well as single-issue groups, such as animal right supporters. 

This one-day workshop highlighted the areas where we perceive the evolving threat, to both citizens and business, to be the greatest, and to put the threat into a societal and commercial context.

It illustrated the terrorist’s financial support network within the UK and provided the necessary responses and counter-actions required from UK government, business and society. 

The event drew together the key stakeholders and actors from UK Government, business and society. 


Conference Programme
Session One: Extremists in the UK
Chair: Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold, CB FRAeS, Director, RUSI

Recent arrests and convictions for terrorist offences indicate that terrorist groups are actively targeting the UK.  This session examined, and sought to draw conclusions from recent cases in the UK.  Speakers discussed some of these cases with a view to drawing further conclusions about current and future threats to the UK. Furthermore, it analysed the significance of the terrorist threat on UK business.

  • Sir Robert Whalley CB, Director of Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence, Home Office  
  • Mr Ken Jones QPM, Chair of ACPO Terrorism Committee and Chief Constable of Sussex Police
  • Dr Richard Wilson, Head of Business Policy, Institute of Directors

Session Two: The Threat of Single-Issue Groups to the UK
Chair: Mr Gareth Crossman, Policy Director, LIBERTY

Many UK businesses have increasingly been subjected to attacks by animal rights terrorist and the threat from such groups is set to increase, creating devastating consequences for the UK economy and scientific research in particular. This session aims to illustrate the threat to business and investigate how the proposals set out by the Home Office to strengthen police powers will work. 

  • Specialist Risk Consultant (to be announced on the day)
  • Superintendent Steve Pearl, Head of National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCO), Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Mr Bill Denison, Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE) Organisation


Session Three: Financing Terrorism in the UK

Chair: Dr Shane Brighton, Head of Intelligence, Homeland Security & Resilience Department, RUSI

The enhanced co-ordination and multi-agency integration across government and the financial services industry has assisted in the efforts to combat terrorist financing.  A broadened intelligence base has facilitated close scrutiny of the means by which terrorists finance their operations and fund their wider networks. A great deal of co-operation and information sharing has been assisted internationally, but this session aims to discuss in more detail the efforts made by the financial, charity and business sectors to hinder the UK terrorist operative's financial support system.

  • Commander Janet Williams, National Terrorist Finance Investigation Unit, Special Branch, Metropolitan Police
  • Mr Peter Lilley, Proximal Consulting

Session Four: Necessary Responses and Counter-Actions
Chair: Mr Turi Munthe, Head of Middle East North Africa Programme, RUSI

The Government is addressing the terrorist threat to the UK in three main ways: strengthening security, making pre-emptive arrests and improving information gathering. The introduction of current Anti-Terror legislation is aimed at further protecting UK citizens, and increasing the capability to capture and convict terrorists in the UK. These measures will be analyzed and suggestions made for possible improvements.

  • Mr Rob Beckley, Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire, Lead on Communities and Counter-Terrorism, ACPO TAM tbc
  • Mr Azad Ali, Chair, Muslim Safety Forum (MSF)
  • Mr Khalid Sofi, Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, Muslim Council of Britain

Related Resources

Politics & Terrorism
24 Feb 2005 - 25 Feb 2005


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