British security services have arrested two young men on suspicions of plotting to kill Prime Minister Theresa May. Twenty year old Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman and 21 year old Mohammed Aqib Imran are now in custody. Apparently, the two intended to storm Downing Street by using a bomb disguised as a bag to open the gates. Then, they planned to attack Prime Minister May with knives.
If the plan sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. Security around Downing Street is tight. It’s unlikely that the two would have even been able to breach the gates with a home-made, bag sized bomb. Had they somehow gained access to Downing Street, they would have had to contend with armed, trained guards with nothing but knives. Even if every guard was on lunch break, they’d still have to find May.
The United Kingdom’s tough gun laws make it difficult for would-be terrorists and others to gain access to guns. However, acquiring the materials to build a simple bomb is pretty straightforward. Materials can be acquired at local supply stores or online. Many of the ingredients are common household items. This makes it nearly impossible to monitor people who may be looking to develop a bomb.
Now, it appears that the government will move more aggressively to disrupt terrorist attacks early in the planning stage. Undoubtedly, the will and potential to actually carry out an attack on Prime Minister May will be closely examined. Almost certainly, the attack would have failed had it been carried out.
The arrest came after weeks of investigation by Scotland Yard, MI5 and the West Midlands Police. The two suspects have been charged with “preparing acts of terrorism.”
Downing Street is heavily fortified. Security measures were increased in the 1980’s due to threats from the Irish independence movement. British authorities have claimed that they have prevented nine terrorist attacks thus far this year. Unfortunately, even in spite of considerable government efforts, many attackers have slipped through.
Security Services Missed Suicide Bomber
This past May a suicide bomber attacked crowds departing an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. The bomber killed 22 people. The bomber (who will not be named by me) was on the radar of security officials. In spite of this, officials failed to predict and prevent the attack.
A recently released government report has laid some blame at the feet of security officials. The bomber’s case had been closed before the bombing occurred and the bomber was downgraded in regards to risk potential. However, leading up to the bombing, more information concerning the bomber emerged. Regardless, authorities didn’t take the matter seriously.
The would-be bomber was one of a “handful” of people identified as high risk individuals. Meanwhile, authorities were aware of the two shooters who carried out the Westminster and London Bridge attacks back in March. Again, the assailants slipped through the cracks.
One thing is for certain, Downing Street may see an increase in security over the next few days.