Security services have prevented 13 potential terror attacks since June 2013, the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer has revealed. Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley also said there were 500 live counter-terror investigations at any time. He disclosed the figures as he launched an appeal, Action Counters Terrorism, for the public to report suspicions.

The Metropolitan Police chief Mark Rowley said since June 2013, police and intelligence agencies have disrupted 13 terrorist attack plots. The figure is one higher than the last tally given in October.

‘Some of that information is a change in someone’s behaviour, some of that’s about suspicious activity. ‘Sometimes that public information has actually started an investigation. Other times it’s part way through and it corroborates some things or adds to things we already know. ‘The public are making a great contribution which is critical to us all working together to protect ourselves from terrorism.’

The official threat level for international terrorism in the UK has stood at severe – meaning an attack is “highly likely” – for more than two years. Much of the threat is posed by so-called Islamic State, but senior detectives said al-Qaeda remained a danger, as did far-right terrorism. Mr Rowley said police faced a range of threats and challenges, including encrypted communication methods, propaganda and various possible attack methods.

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