United Kingdom

Rishi Sunak pledges millions to UK anti-terrorism HQ in London

Britain's top police officers and intelligence agents will be brought together in a new centre to lead the fight against terrorism, Rishi Sunak will announce tomorrow.

The Chancellor will promise tens of millions of pounds for the counter-terrorism operations centre in the spending review.

Specialist police officers, the security services and representatives from the criminal justice system will co-ordinate expertise, resources and intelligence at the state-of-the-art facility in London.

It is hoped this will help them to thwart attacks or respond more quickly if terrorists do slip through the net.

Rishi Sunak is set to announce tens of millions of pounds worth of investment in a new state-of-the-art anti-terror building in London - which could begin to open as early as next year 

The first sections of the building will be ready for use as early as next year, and the centre is due to be fully operational within five years.

Last night, Mr Sunak told the Mail: 'Our police and intelligence agencies do an extraordinary job every day to protect us all from terrorist activity.

'Bringing these partners together to form a world-leading operations centre will enable them to work more collaboratively to disrupt threats, allowing the Government to deliver on its first and foremost duty to keep the public safe.'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the centre would be 'world leading,' and promised it would enable Britain to act faster to threats of a terrorist attack

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the joint centre will enable the country to act faster to the threat of an attack.

She said: 'We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our police, intelligence agencies and criminal justice system who work tirelessly every single day to keep us safe from terrorism.

'This world-leading new centre will fully integrate their wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure that we are responding to the range of threats this nation faces as quickly and effectively as possible.'

As well as tackling terrorism, the centre will play a key role in combating other threats, including hostile state activity and organised crime.

A review commissioned by Met Police and MI5 (pictured, Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick), highlighted the need for officers and security services to work closer together 

The review called on ways for MI5 (pictured, director general Ken McCallum) to 'develop new ways of working together,' with Scotland Yard

A review into operational improvements commissioned by the Metropolitan Police and MI5 following the terrorist attacks of 2017 highlighted the need for the police and security services to work more collaboratively and called for them to develop new ways of working together. 

In the spring and summer of 2017, London and Manchester saw four attacks in which a total of 36 innocent people were killed.

They were the most deadly atrocities on British soil since the 7/7 London Tube and bus bombings of July 2005, in which 52 people lost their lives.

Three of the six 2017 perpetrators had been on MI5's radar.

Shamima Begum 'still a risk to UK' 

Jihadi bride Shamima Begum 'poses a real and current threat to national security' and should not be allowed to return to the UK, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

The 21-year-old is still 'aligned' to the Islamic State terror group, top judges were told.

Top judges were told Jihadi bride Shamima Begum 'poses a real and current threat to national security'

Begum fled to join IS in Syria in 2015. Her citizenship was revoked last year and she was denied entry to the UK to challenge the decision. 

However, the Court of Appeal this year said she should be allowed to return for this purpose.

Currently holed up in a Syrian refugee camp, she has made it clear she wants to return.

Lord Pannick, for Begum, yesterday told the Supreme Court she had an inalienable right to appeal.

The hearing continues.

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