Four far-right plots thwarted last year, says counter-terrorism chief Mark Rowley | UK news | The Guardian

 The outgoing head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK has used his valedictory speech to warn against the rise of the far-right as he revealed four extremist rightwing plots were thwarted in 2017.

Mark Rowley, the assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan police, drew parallels between far-right groups and figures and the Islamist extremists they claim to despise in the annual Colin Cramphorn memorial lecture in central London.

Speaking two weeks before his 31-year career in policing comes to a close, Rowley revealed four extreme rightwing-inspired plots were prevented last year.

In a conference with journalists before the speech, Rowley said the far-right terror threat was “significant and concerning” and the public should be “gravely concerned” by the existence of National Action, the white supremacist, neo-nazi group banned under terror legislation.

“The rightwing threat was not previously organised. Every now and then there’s been an individual motivated by that rhetoric who has committed a terrorist act but we’ve not had an organised rightwing threat like we do now,” he said.

He said a third of referrals to the government’s Prevent strategy, aimed at reducing radicalisation in communities, are now individuals engaged with far-right terrorism.

In his speech, Rowley draws many comparisons between Islamist and far-right groups and figures, such as Isis and Anjem Choudary in the former, and National Action and former EDL leader Tommy Robinson in the latter.



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