Security will be “intensified” at events in big cities and borders across the UK in the wake of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, Theresa May has said.
Security plans will be reviewed and any necessary lessons learned, the home secretary said in a Commons statement.
Mrs May also said she would call for tighter gun laws in Europe.
Her comments come as London’s Metropolitan Police revealed there were currently 600 counter-terror investigations under way across the UK.
The Met’s Specialist Crime and Operations unit has said armed police will be deployed at the friendly football match between England and France at London’s Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening.
It has been confirmed that Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, will attend the match, the BBC’s Peter Hunt has reported.
Multiple attacks on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the Stade de France on Friday left 129 people dead, including Briton Nick Alexander from Essex. The Islamic State group has said it was behind the killings.
Speaking in the Commons, Mrs May confirmed that new funding would be made available for an extra 1,900 security and intelligence officers at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – an increase of 15%.
She said those who had attacked Paris “represent no-one and they will fail” to divide free countries such as Britain and France.
“France grieves but she does not grieve alone. People of all faiths, all nationalities and all backgrounds around the world are with you and together we will defeat them.”
The announcement on Monday that Britain’s intelligence and security agencies are to be given a massive boost in resources has taken some there by surprise.
Expecting a modest boost in the coming Strategic Defence and Security Review, they have now been told they are to get a 15% increase in headcount, raising their numbers by 1,900.
For MI5, the Security Service and MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, this will take some time to absorb, perhaps years. They will need to find, recruit, vet and train new intelligence officers largely from scratch.
But for GCHQ, the government’s secret listening station in Cheltenham, it will be relatively easier for them to recruit already-qualified IT analysts and linguists from the commercial marketplace.
Deploying extra aviation security officers should also show results fairly quickly. They will be expected to assess security in overseas airports used by large numbers of Britons where security is suspected of being lax.
In other developments:
- Number 10 says UK security services have disrupted seven attacks this year, including one in the last month
- The Foreign Office is advising people travelling to France to exercise caution in public places and follow advice of local authorities
- Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says Britain must “think again” about military action in Syria, saying “France’s fight is our fight”
- Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he is “not happy” with UK security services operating a “shoot-to-kill” policy in the event of a terror attack
- All 23 France players will travel to England on Monday after turning down the option to withdraw from Tuesday’s friendly football match at Wembley
Earlier, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said world leaders had agreed to do more to share intelligence and cut off funding for terrorists.
Speaking at the G20 summit in Turkey, the PM said Friday’s attacks in Paris “underlined the threat we all face”.
Andrew Parker, director-general of MI5, told BBC Radio 4 yesterday that Britain was facing its most serious terrorism threat since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and had foiled six attempted attacks in the last year.
He said: “Most of the people who try to become involved in terrorism in this country are people who were born and brought up here, have come through our education system, and have nonetheless concluded that the country – their home country and the country of their birth – is their enemy.”
The analysis of jihadist activity seen by the Times states that the number of violent suspects being monitored by security services has jumped by half since 2007, when 2,000 people were classified as Al-Qaeda supporters.
In August last year, Britain raised its terrorism threat level to “severe”, the second highest category which means a militant attack is considered highly likely.
It was largely due to the danger the authorities say is posed by Islamic State (IS) fighters and the hundreds of Britons who have joined them
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