Reading attack: Threat from 'lone actors' growing, warns Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel (Credit: PA)
The threat from “lone actor” terror attacks is growing, Priti Patel has warned, in the wake of the Reading stabbings which left three people dead.
The Home Secretary praised efforts of the emergency services who rushed to the scene in Forbury Gardens on Saturday evening, describing police who apprehended the suspect as "heroes".
"These officers, a few of whom were student officers, ran towards danger to help those in need without a second thought," she told the Commons in a statement.
"They showed courage, bravery and selflessness way beyond their years. They are the very best of us."
She added: "After initial investigations, counter-terrorism police declared the attack a terrorist incident and are now leading the investigation.
"Police have confirmed that the threat is contained, but that sadly three innocent members of the public were killed, murdered by a sudden and savage knife attacker as they enjoyed a summer evening with friends. Another three victims were injured and received hospital treatment.”
Ms Patel said the UK "has the best security services and police in the world" and that since 2017, 25 terror plots had been foiled - including eight driven by the far-right.
But she warned: "The terrorist threat that we face is complex, diverse and rapidly training. It is clear the threat posed by lone actors is growing.
"These terrorists are united by the same vile hate that rejects the values that our country holds dear: decency, tolerance and respect. And we’re united in our mission to tackle terrorism in all its forms."
The Home Secretary pledged that "justice will be done, victims will be supported and if further action is needed to stop terrorists in their tracks, this government will not hesitate to act".