Monthly Threat Update July 2021
There were no significant terrorist attacks or plots in the UK, Western Europe or North America in July 2021. However, the US and allied NATO forces began their withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is highly likely to lead to a resurgence in Al-Qaeda (AQ) operations in the country. This is likely to pose an increased threat to Western countries in future.
The Home Office also proscribed far-right extremist group ‘the Base’. The Base was the third far-right group proscribed by the British Government in the last 12 months and is the fifth right-wing extremist group added to the list of proscribed organisations. This does not indicate an increased threat from the Base. To date, there have been no arrests or plots by Base members in the UK.
Director General of MI5, Ken McCallum, also highlighted the growing threat from hostile state actors, which he described as becoming as serious as the terrorist threat. McCallum highlighted that British universities and research centres are particularly vulnerable to theft of intellectual property or sabotage. Finally, assailants attacked vaccine centres in France. A centre near Grenoble was flooded and vandalised and another near Biarritz was damaged in an arson attack. Due to the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, vaccine centres and other healthcare facilities may be targeted in further attacks, although such attacks are may not be treated as terrorist in nature.