Earlier today the UKs Home Office released a new counterterrorism strategy. The strategy is detailed and explicit. The complete report to Parliament and the people is available from the Home Office website.
The CT strategy builds on existing government policy initially developed in 2003. In particular it continues to highlight 4 P’s (as in mind your Ps and Qs): pursue, prevent, protect, and prepare. According to the document the British government will undertake and encourage its partners to undertake:
- a Pursue strategy which uses new resources to investigate and disrupt terrorist networks here and overseas and to prosecute those responsible
- a Prevent strategy rolled out since last year that reaches more people – nationally, internationally and locally – than ever before, and which reflects our better understanding of the causes of radicalisation
- a Protect strategy which will further strengthen our borders, consolidate work on our critical national infrastructure and improve the protection of the crowded places where we work, live and play
- a Prepare strategy that will enable us to respond effectively to new threats, and to recover from any terrorist attack faster than ever before.
The new strategy arguably gives greater attention than before to the risk of CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) threats perpetrated by relatively small groups of terrorists.
In public comments earlier today the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, gave particular attention to so-called “soft schemes” to prevent terrorism through more effective and positive community engagement.
The CT policy is well-calibrated with the broader British strategy of resilience. Further, as with last year’s first time release of a national Risk Register, the CT policy attempts to be especially clear in terms of the government’s analysis of the threat and choices being made to counter the terrorist threat.