Security services are no longer seeing ambitious plots to inflict mass casualties such as the July 7 attacks on the London Underground, says David Anderson, QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in the UK.
But he warns that the emergence of “lone actors” or “lone wolf” plots against relatively limited targets could be more difficult to detect and stop, according to The Telegraph.
These attacks, Anderson says, are often smaller-scale, lower-tech attacks on national security targets more than the general public, similar to attacks in Northern Ireland.
This does not mean, however, that the threat from al Qaida is over – “Al Qaida has been diversifying or fragmenting – particularly in the Yemen,” he says in the Telegraph article. “Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula do still have good technicians and they have people who can make bombs. So we are not out of the woods.”