Monthly Threat Update April 2021
A confirmed New IRA attempted bombing took place in Northern Ireland in April 2021. The group attempted to kill an off-duty police officer using a homemade improvised explosive device (IED) in Dungiven, Co. Derry/Londonderry on 19 April 2021.
Further afield on 23 April, a suspected Islamist extremist killed a police administrator in an attack approximately 60km south-west of Paris, in Rambouillet, France, highlighting the ongoing intent by Islamist extremists in Western countries to target police and security officials.
The Home Office has added the far-right Atomwaffen Division (AWD) to its list of proscribed organisations, becoming the fourth far-right group to be added to the proscribed list since the list was established in 2001. Separately, a serving Metropolitan Police officer has been found guilty this month of belonging to a proscribed organisation, the far-right National Action, highlighting growing concerns about the “insider threat” of potential extremists in the ranks of police and military personnel.
Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist also urged the public and businesses to remain vigilant as the coronavirus lockdown begins to lift as he believes the easing of lockdown restrictions could provide a greater opportunity for terrorists to operate. Last month, Counter Terrorism Policing also released a toolkit for businesses to assist them in keeping customers safe as lockdown in the UK begins to lift. The toolkit can be accessed here.
Other incidents of note included a potential cyber attack on the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, highlighting the vulnerability of critical national infrastructure (CNI) to cyber attacks. Separately, an explosive drone deployed by a cartel against Mexican police demonstrated the potential for drones to be used by threat actors to remotely target security forces and the public as well as infrastructure locations.
Pool Re also hosted a webinar on the ongoing Protect Duty consultation in conjunction with the Publicly Accessible Locations team at the Home Office on 14 April 2021. For more on the Protect Duty consultation, please see here.