By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - The terrorism threat from increasing far-right movements is the U.K.’s fastest-growing terror threat, British police said Thursday.
The country’s top counter-terrorism officer, the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said the force was taking the threat seriously as one third of all terrorism threat originated from the same ideology.
"The problem is small but it is my fastest-growing problem," Basu said in a media briefing.
He said extreme right wing terrorism had gone from 6% of the case-load two years ago to 10% now, and seven of the 22 plots to cause mass casualties since March 2017 are being driven by extreme right wing ideology.
"When nearly a third of plots foiled by police and security services relate to rightwing ideology, it lays bare why we are taking this threat so seriously," added Basu.
- Far-right terrorism
The far-right extremism movement in the U.K. has gained momentum after the Brexit referendum in 2016, and London and Manchester terror attacks in 2017.
Terrorist Thomas Mair, who confessed that he was influenced by far right propaganda, killed Labour MP Joe Cox in an attack during the EU referendum campaign in 2016.
He shouted as he repeatedly shot and stabbed Cox: "This is for Britain", "keep Britain independent", and "Britain first".
Darren Osborne, 48, killed Makram Ali, 51, and injured 11 others in June 2017 when he plowed a van into a group of Muslim worshippers after they left Ramadan prayers at the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park.
The far-right terrorist was found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a British court and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 43 years.
A neo-Nazi who admitted plotting the murder of Labour MP Rosie Cooper was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 20 years in 2019.
Terrorist Jack Renshaw was investigated by the police after he mentioned the plot in a pub during a meeting attended by Christopher Lythgoe, the leader of the banned extreme neo-Nazi group National Action.