Homeland Security

Former UK Intel Official Says 23,000 Jihadists Living in Britain Is Probably 'the Tip of the Iceberg'

Colonel Richard Kemp is a former senior UK intelligence official and former chairman of the Cobra Intelligence Group who briefed the British government on secret intelligence.

Speaking with BBC Newsnight this week, Kemp said that the 23,000 jihadists MI5 officials have publicly admitted are living in the UK “may be the tip of the iceberg”:

The 23,000 number was reported in the days following the Manchester arena attack last month that left 22 victims dead and 250 injured.

The Times reported:

Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers, it emerged yesterday.

The scale of the challenge facing the police and security services was disclosed by Whitehall sources after criticism that multiple opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber had been missed.

About 3,000 people from the total group are judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services. The 20,000 others have featured in previous inquiries and are categorised as posing a “residual risk”.

Those MI5 figures were confirmed by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd the following day on Andrew Marr’s BBC show.

But Kemp’s stunning admission that these figures on the number of jihadists may be vastly understated lends evidence to the claim that the extent of the threat in the UK may exceed authorities’ ability to deal with it.

The pace of terror attacks in the UK this year has been staggering.

Notwithstanding that arrests have been taking place at a blistering speed:

Top among the terror concerns are those returning foreign fighters who have traveled to terror zones, most recently Syria and Iraq, to fight with terror organizations:

And in Europe the UK is second only to France when it comes to the foreign fighter problem:

After the London Bridge attack, London Mayor Sadiq Khan was evasive about where those 400 fighters who had returned from Syria were exactly and why they had been allowed to return:

The problem of jihadists returning home is not a new problem, but it had clearly grown unmanageable.

Exactly how bad the foreign fighter problem had become came to light when it was revealed that more Muslims had joined ISIS than the military in the UK over the same period:

And it was revealed this week that more than 40 known terrorists are living inside the UK but cannot be touched because of human rights laws:

Police anti-terrorism efforts have been hampered by politically correct policies:

And by ignoring disturbing trends in the UK Muslim community:

Terrorism in the UK has been fostered by widespread extremist views that have largely gone unchallenged:

Last year a YouGov poll of UK Muslims was released that revealed some shocking findings:

But rather than confront the spread of radical Islamist ideology in the UK, the government directed their attention elsewhere as the problem grew:

Meanwhile, the UK’s lackluster “countering violent extremism” (CVE) efforts have been undermined from within and without:



As BBC Newsnight explored in their segment this week, a considerable portion of the UK’s terror problem up to this point has been localized around the al-Muhajiroun networks. These networks, where many of their domestic terrorists have sprung from, have been a chronic problem:

Here is the entire BBC Newsnight segment in its entirety:

What Richard Kemp revealed this week is that the jihadist problem in the UK may be larger than anyone is the government can comprehend or is willing to admit. But as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the attacks continue and British citizens keep dying.

Has the terror problem in the UK passed the point of no return? If Kemp’s claims prove accurate, and there is evidence to believe they are, the attacks  we’ve seen this year may be just the beginning of a terrifying trend.