Monthly Threat Update February 2021
There were no significant terrorist attacks in the UK or Europe in February. Despite a recent decline in terrorist activity and the reduction of the UK threat level to ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ from ‘SEVERE’, the threat of a terrorist attack occurring remains likely.
February witnessed the UK’s youngest terrorist conviction and the deployment of increasingly sophisticated cyber and drone capabilities, evidenced by recent attacks in the US and Saudi Arabia. Both attacks showcased the growing intent and capability of violent groups to weaponise and utilise novel technologies to execute their attacks. New methodologies were also the subject of recent warnings from Ben Wallace, the UK Defence Secretary, who warned of the growing threat of international chemical and biological attacks. On the domestic front, following the release of the government roadmap on the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, opportunities for mass casualty attacks will increase and planned attacks, deferred due to the pandemic, may now materialise. Further afield, an attack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a United Nations convoy which killed the Italian Ambassador to the DRC, was condemned as a ‘terrorist attack’ by the DRC president Felix Tshisekedi.