The number of suspects arrested in terrorism-related investigations in the UK has reached a record high, according to the latest figures released by the Home Office.
A total of 400 people were held for terror-related offences in Britain in the year to the end of September 2017, the highest tally since data collection started in 2001 and a spike of 54% compared to last year.
The 400 total includes 12 arrests made in connection with the Westminster attack, 23 after the Manchester Arena attack, 21 after the London Bridge attack, and one after the Finsbury Park attack.
From the 400, 58 of those arrested were females – the highest number on record.
Security Minister Ben Wallace said police and security services “have been clear that we are facing a shift rather than a short-term spike in the terrorist threat.”
He added: “The whole of society must come together to challenge the terrorist threat.
“The public must remain alert but not alarmed and report any suspicions they have about unusual activity or behaviour to the appropriate authorities.”
Counter-terrorism agencies believe the scale of the threat facing the country is unprecedented.
Britain was hit by five attacks between March and September 2017; four of them in London, while authorities have launched more operations to disrupt suspected terrorist planning.
The figures come just days after MI5’s Director, General Andrew Parker, revealed that nine terrorism plots had been foiled in the UK in the past year.
He warned that now ISIS has been defeated in Syria and Iraq, the group was calling for attacks to be carried out on British soil.
There was also a leap in arrests for “domestic” terrorism, up from 20 in the year to September 2016 to 73 in the latest period, and a further five in connection to Northern Ireland.
Domestic terrorism refers to activity where there are no links to either Northern Ireland-related or international terrorism.
Mr Williamson, the former Chief Whip, told the Daily Mail: “I do not believe that any terrorist, whether they come from this country or any other, should ever be allowed back into this country. We should do everything we can do to destroy and eliminate that threat.”
The arrival of up to 300 British fighters from ISIS’ former territories in Syria and Iraq was initially feared, but the actual number is now expected to be significantly lower.
Of around 850 people who left Britain to join ISIS, around half are believed to have returned, whilst an unknown number have been killed.