Pool Re concerned over monitoring of subjects of interest

Pool Re Solutions, the specialist advice division of Britain’s terrorism reinsurer, has voiced its concern over the monitoring by the security services of subjects of interest -- a topic highlighted once again in June when Libyan asylum-seeker Khairi Saadallah killed 3 civilians and injured a further 3 in a bladed weapon attack in Reading.

SOIs are individuals who have come to the attention of authorities, but who are not actively monitored due resourcing constraints and other operational priorities. Pool Re's July’s report highlights the difficulty faced by MI5 and police in managing the 20,000 former SOIs in Great Britain.

Pool Re also notes that recent lockdowns have led vulnerable individuals to become reclusive and spend more time online, which it says makes them more susceptible to being remotely radicalised by extremist organisations.

The counter-terrorist community is also concerned about the displacement of people away from crowded places historically targeted by terrorists, such as pubs and nightclubs, to other types of crowded spaces such as parks. The latter present a challenge to secure, both due to their inherently open nature, and lack of clarity over who is responsible for their security.

It is understood that the attack in Reading may help steer forthcoming policy reviews relating to crowded places/crowded spaces and potential legislation mandating additional counter-terrorism security at entertainment venues (known as Martyn’s Law).

The current threat from terrorism in the UK is Substantial.

Threat levels:

Critical: an attack is highly likely in the near future
Severe: an attack is highly likely
Substantial: an attack is likely
Moderate: an attack is possible but not likely
Low: an attack is highly unlikely

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