Introduction to What to look for
The terrorist threat is serious and ongoing. Members of the public can help to prevent terrorism by being alert to possible suspicious activities.
Terrorists have to live somewhere, and they need to plan and prepare for attacks. They buy and store materials, fund their activities, move around, prepare equipment and weapons and possibly undergo training. They may have people helping them - and these people might come and go at strange times of the day and night. They may make unusual financial transactions or use false documents to hide their real identities. They may be behaving differently from how you've known them to behave in the past. Members of the public may spot such activities, and if reported in time, a planned terrorist attack may be stopped before it happens.
If you are aware of something suspicious, trust your instincts and report it to the police. What might seem insignificant on its own could actually provide a vital link in a wider investigation.
Terrorists often use the Internet to promote extremism and terrorism. The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to have or share information that could be useful to terrorists, share information that urges people to commit or help with acts of terrorism, or glorify or praise terrorism. If you come across extremist or terrorist content you find online, you may wish to report it (see Report online terrorist material).
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MI5 Director General Ken McCallum gave his annual threat update at Thames House on 14 July 2021.