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CPNI issues timely guidance for security personnel on recognising terrorist threats
24 June 2020
THE TERROR attack that occurred in Reading last weekend served as a tragic reminder that the UK continues to face a serious and challenging threat from terrorism. It still holds true that early recognition of the indicators of an attack can reduce casualties and save lives. With this in mind, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has issued new guidance.
On Sunday, the police service said that the stabbing episode at Forbury Gardens in Reading that left three people dead and a similar number injured was being treated as a terrorist incident, but that there was no intelligence on any further attacks. “This was an atrocity,” observed Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and head of Counter-Terrorism Policing. The latter is now leading the investigation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled and sickened” by the attack and said Britain would change the law if necessary to prevent any future incidents. The Prime Minister stated: “If there are lessons we need to learn then we will learn those lessons and not hesitate to take action if needed.”
Police were called to Forbury Gardens at around 7.00 pm on Saturday evening. Witnesses say a lone attacker with a knife shouted unintelligible words and stabbed several people who were in a group. Those three individuals have been named as James Furlong, David Wails and Joe Ritchie-Bennett.
Police continue to question suspect Khairi Saadallah who came to the UK from Libya back in 2012. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act. Saadallah originally claimed asylum and was given leave to remain in the UK in 2018. He was brought to the attention of the Security Service (ie MI5) last year as someone who might travel overseas, possibly for terrorism purposes, but it was assessed that he was not a genuine threat or an immediate risk.
Terrorists can choose to carry out small-scale attacks, large-scale attacks or a combination to cause maximum disruption. However, all attacks have indicators, either that they are about to occur or have just started. In studying these, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) recommends that it is essential security staff have improved awareness in key indicator recognition.
In collaboration with Action Counters Terrorism (ACT), the CPNI has published the 39-page Recognising Terrorist Threats guide which is aimed at every level of the security profession. This guide contains an overview of potential terrorist methodologies, key components of threat devices and other potential attack indicators.
*Download the guide here