The British government was just told to get tougher on the rising threat of far-right terror

  • UK security officials have been told to get tougher on the rising threat of extreme right-wing groups.
  • David Anderson QC said MI5 should investigate "all kinds of terrorism, irrespective of the ideology that inspires them."
  • The Anderson report comes five days after Donald Trump retweeted posts from a British far-right leader.


Britain's security officials have been urged to get tougher on the rising threat of extreme right-wing terrorism — and to treat it in the same way as they would Islamist terror threats.

While the known number of terrorist plots from far-right extremists are lower than from Islamist radicalists, security authorities should implement an "equivalence of processes in analysing and dealing with all kinds of terrorism, irrespective of the ideology that inspires them," according to an independent report.

The recommendations were made by David Anderson QC, who on Tuesday published a review of the UK response to the Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, and Finsbury Park attacks this year.

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Jo Cox dies after being shot, stabbed
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Jo Cox dies after being shot, stabbed
Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox is seen in Westminster May 12, 2015. Yui Mok/Press Association/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox is seen in an undated handout image released on June 16, 2016. British lawmaker Cox was in critical condition after an incident in her constituency in northern England on Thursday, British police said, with media reports suggesting she had been shot and stabbed. Press Association/ Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox (right), who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 06-06-2016 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26627879 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 12-05-2015 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26627507 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 06-06-2016 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26627840 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 06-06-2016 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26627851 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox (front), who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 16-06-2016 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26627875 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 12/05/15 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who has been shot in Birstall near Leeds, an eyewitness said. ... Jo Cox shooting ... 12-05-2015 ... London ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 26628031 ... Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
A forensics police officer works next women's shoes and a handbag on the ground behind a police cordon in Birstall near Leeds, June 16, 2016 A British lawmaker was in critical condition after an incident in her constituency in northern England on Thursday, British police said, with media reports suggesting she had been shot and stabbed. Media reports said Jo Cox, 41, who is a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, had been attacked as she prepared to hold an advice surgery for constituents in Birstall near Leeds. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A police officer stands outside the home of a man who was arrested after Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked in her constituency near Leeds, June 16, 2016 A British lawmaker was in critical condition after an incident in her constituency in northern England on Thursday, British police said, with media reports suggesting she had been shot and stabbed. Media reports said Jo Cox, 41, who is a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, had been attacked as she prepared to hold an advice surgery for constituents in Birstall near Leeds. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Police forensics officer walks outside the home of a man who was arrested after Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked in her constituency near Leeds, June 16, 2016 A British lawmaker was in critical condition after an incident in her constituency in northern England on Thursday, British police said, with media reports suggesting she had been shot and stabbed. Media reports said Jo Cox, 41, who is a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, had been attacked as she prepared to hold an advice surgery for constituents in Birstall near Leeds. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Police officers stand outside the home of a man who was arrested after Labour MP Jo Cox was attacked in her constituency near Leeds, June 16, 2016 A British lawmaker was in critical condition after an incident in her constituency in northern England on Thursday, British police said, with media reports suggesting she had been shot and stabbed. Media reports said Jo Cox, 41, who is a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, had been attacked as she prepared to hold an advice surgery for constituents in Birstall near Leeds. REUTERS/Phil Noble
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The 61-page report noted that in the 12 months leading up to October 2017, there were "instances of attack-planning" from far-right extremists, including "the construction of viable explosive devices and the acquisition of firearms."

It was hard, however, to quantify the number of thwarted attacks from far-right extremists "in part because of uncertainty as to whether a lone actor was actually planning an attack and, if so, whether it would have crossed the threshold from hate crime to terrorism," Anderson noted.

He said the far-right threat was "exemplified" by the murder of Jo Cox in June 2016, when the Labour MP was shot and stabbed to death by Thomas Mair. Prosecutors said his crimes were "nothing less than acts of terrorism."

MI5 should have "an increased role... in so-called domestic extremism work, including in particular XRW [extreme right-wing] terrorism," Anderson said.

"The aim is to ensure the equivalence of processes in analysing and dealing with all kinds of terrorism, irrespective of the ideology that inspires them."

The Anderson report came five days after US President Donald Trump retweeted three videos posted Jayda Fransen, the leader of the far-right, anti-Muslim movement Britain First.

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Charlottesville violence erupts as protesters and counterprotesters clash
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Charlottesville violence erupts as protesters and counterprotesters clash
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist kicks back a smoke bomb thrown by counter protestors during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist tries to strike a counter protestor with a White Nationalist flag during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A vehicle plowed into a crowd of people Saturday at a Virginia rally where violence erupted between white nationalist demonstrators and counter-protesters, witnesses said, causing an unclear number of injuries. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: Police, medical personnel, and other protestors attend to the injured people after a car rammed into a crowd of anti-White Supremacy protestors in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A woman who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally is helped in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts?
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Rescue workers transport a victim who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A woman is received first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
People receive first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A woman is received first-aid after a car accident ran into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist helps a friend after he was punched in the face during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A counter protestor strikes a White Nationalist with a baton during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists and counter protestors clash at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A man is seen with an injury during a clash between members of white nationalist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Virginia State Police move in as members of white nationalist protesters clash against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
People struggle with a Confederate flag as a crowd of white nationalists are met by a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists rush forward with shields and sticks during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacists stands with militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacists stands behind militia members after he scuffled with a counter demonstrator in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12: White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the 'alt-right' take refuge in an alleyway after being hit with pepper spray after the 'Unite the Right' rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-facist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Members of white nationalists are met by a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Members of white nationalists clash against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he arrives for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Virginia State Troopers stand under a statue of Robert E. Lee before a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacist holds a flag during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A member of a white supremacists militia stands near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Virginia State Police officer aims during clash protests in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. A picturesque Virginia city braced Saturday for a flood of white nationalist demonstrators as well as counter-protesters, declaring a local emergency as law enforcement attempted to quell early violent clashes. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: White Supremacists and counter protestors clash at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A White Supremacist with a White Nationalist flag during clashes with counter protestors at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
Rescue workers transport a victim who was injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Rescue workers assist people who were injured when a car drove through a group of counter protestors at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A man who was hit with pepper spray reacts during a clash between a crowd of white supremacist protesters against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Justin Ide
White supremacists clash with counter protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacist militia member stands in front of clergy counter protesting during rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A counter protest yells at white supremacists during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A Virginia State Trooper stands guard at the crime scene where a vehicle plowed into a crowd of counter protesters and two other vehicles (rear) near the "Unite the Right" rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
White supremacists stand behind their shields at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Theresa May criticised Trump's retweets, saying: "British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values this country represents, decency, tolerance, and respect."

The Anderson report also revealed that UK security officials had prior intelligence on Salman Abedi, the perpetrator of the Manchester Arena suicide attack, but that its significance "was not fully appreciated at the time."

Andrew Parker, MI5's director general, said:

"I welcome David Anderson QC's independent assurance of our reviews, and we are committed to implementing the recommendations we identified. [...]

"MI5 and our partners continue to bring the full weight of our growing capabilities to counter this new intensity of threat. Our unrelenting focus remains on doing everything in our power every day to keep the country safe."

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READ MORE: Who are Britain First? The extreme far-right group retweeted by Trump

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