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Britain's Terror threat 'highest since 9/11' as Gaza conflict used to recruit extremists, spies warn

A double-decker bus destroyed by a terrorist attack in London's Tavistock Square on July 7, 2005 (standard)
A double-decker bus destroyed by a terrorist attack in London's Tavistock Square on July 7, 2005 (standard)

Security officials have warned MPs that the war in Gaza has raised the threat of a terror attack on UK soil, according to reports.

They revealed in a private meeting with politicians that spies had intercepted the volume of messages from potential terrorists that had not been seen since the 9/11 attack on the US.

The MPs been told that war in the Middle East has been used as a “recruitment advert” by global terror groups, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The security services also revealed that they fear a spike in extremist activity during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts next Sunday.

People lay flowers at London Bridge for the victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack. (PA Archive)
People lay flowers at London Bridge for the victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack. (PA Archive)

One MP with knowledge of the content of the briefings told the Mail on Sunday: “The level of extremist chatter is off the scale. This is something they've seen growing and growing.”

The politician added: “It's like when the Twin Towers came down in 2001, there was a big spike of hate.

Security officials have held a series of confidential meetings with MPs since December about the heightened “chatter” about potential plots intercepted in phone calls and online.

One source told the MOS: “There is a high chance of both a 7/7-style attack or a lone fired-up attacker like Lee Rigby's killers.”

The soldier was murdered in Woolwich, in South East London by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in 2013.

On July 7, 2005, an attack on London’s transport system killed 39 people, including passengers on a bus in Russell Square. In June 2017 terrorists killed eight people as they attacked around London Bridge and Borough Market.

Dozens more were injured as the knife-wielding extremists launched their deadly assault.

The official terrorism threat level is 'substantial', the third highest level, meaning an attack is likely.