London (Alshahid)-Britain and the Olympics face a growing threat from “lone wolf” terrorists who have taught themselves how to build bombs using al Qaeda publications, a leading security think tank has warned.
The Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) predicts there are 50 such individuals currently with Alshabab militants in Somalia who could eventually use their experience at home.
While the death of Osama bin Laden began a succession of counter-terrorism victories last year, leading to a reduction in the threat level from severe to substantial, the threat from al Qaeda has not diminished, the report warns.
Despite recent arrests and failed plots, the authorities must contend with “lone wolves” and “self-radicalised” militants who are hard to track and pose a greater security risk, it was noted.
“Britons are thought to make up about 25% of the 200 or so foreign fighters that the Alshabab group in Somalia currently fields, and who are engaging in a deepening war on neighbouring Kenya and its tourist trade.”
Nigeria is a newly identified potential breeding ground for radicalised militants with strong connections to immigrants in the United Kingdom, Rusi added, following a year of violence in Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram.
“It would be surprising if both the tactics and the tensions underlying Boko Haram’s campaign do not spread some ripples among the Nigerian ethnic communities in the UK,” Rusi’s experts said.
The report (pdf) comes at a time when Britain’s security services are concentrating on protecting the London Olympics this summer, putting off plans for new ways to counter terrorist threats.