December 17, 2014 / 4:23 PM / in 4 years

UK came 'within days' of Sydney-style terror attack: top policeman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain thwarted a Sydney-style ‘lone wolf’ attack just days before it was due to happen, London’s top policeman said on Wednesday, saying his force had foiled five terror plots in the last four months alone.

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Bernard Hogan-Howe speaks at the London School of Economics in London January 16, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Britain raised it terrorism alert to the second-highest level in August and last month said it was facing the biggest terrorism threat in its history because of radicalized Britons returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq.

“They’ve been very close to going and hurting somebody, badly, or killing them ... within days,” London’s police chief, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said in an interview on LBC Radio.

“In terms of plots over this last four months really it’s probably five. And we’ve arrested I think it’s about 35 people.”

Hogan-Howe said the activity had put a strain on resources and that more funding was needed to address backlogs in retrieving digital evidence to identify such plots.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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