Terrorist threats to the UK and its interests overseas can originte from number of terrorist organisations and their backers, both inside and outside the UK. As the threats become more diverse and unpredictable, SIS plays an active role in reducing the risks to the UK.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) sets out the UK’s overall method to counter terrorism. This focuses on gathering and assessing intelligence, on-going covert investigations and disruption, preventing people from becoming terrorists, and protecting critical national infrastructure and crowded places. This is summed up in four stages:
SIS will detect and disrupt overseas terrorist threats to the UK and its interests, in partnership with the other UK agencies, close allies and partners. One of its main activities is recruiting foreign agents who provide key intelligence on terrorist plans and organisations. Working closely with the Security Service (MI5) it also disrupts threats in the UK, where the threat has an international angle.
The danger of ‘home grown’ extremism within the UK has led to the introduction of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which requires key public bodies, including schools and NHS trusts, to recognise signs of radicalisation as part of the ‘Prevent’ duty. Counter-terror measures now have wide-reaching implications for everyday British life and must be constantly reviewed to keep up to date with modern threats at all levels, from the spread of hate speech, to cyber security, to wider military intervention.