Crime report reveals Scotland 'terror attack' plan

police scotland officer with gun
Counter terrorism investigation Operation Ferulic was led by Police Scotland [Getty Images]

A multi-agency police inquiry has investigated what appear to have been preparations for a terrorist attack in Scotland.

Brief details of the case have been revealed in a report from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The NCA said a counter terrorism investigation titled Operation Ferulic was led by Police Scotland and centred on "the apparent preparation for a firearms attack in the Edinburgh area."

Police Scotland confirmed that a 16-year-old was arrested and charged with an offence under the Terrorism Act 2000

Several specialists from the NCA's Major Crime Investigative Support unit were drafted in to assist the inquiry.

Forensic clinical psychologists, behavioural investigative advisors and interview advisors were involved in assessing and managing risk and interview preparation.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "On 10 August, 2023, a 16-year-old youth was arrested and charged in connection with an offence under the Terrorism Act 2000 and a breach of the peace.

"They appeared at Livingston Sheriff Court on 27 October 2023."

Organised crime increase

The NCA is the UK's lead agency against organised crime including human, weapon and drug trafficking, and cybercrime and economic crime.

Its involvement in Operation Ferulic is mentioned in a report to the board of the Scottish Police Authority, the organisation which oversees policing in Scotland.

The document details the NCA's activities in Scotland between October 2023 and March 2024.

It says it was involved in 276 investigations in 2023/24 which disrupted serious and organised crime in Scotland, a 10% increase on the previous year.

In the last six months, 15 investigations are said to have had a major impact on criminal activity including drugs, firearms and child sexual abuse.

The report says over 100 officers from the NCA, Police Scotland and a regional organised crime unit from the south-west of England executed 12 search warrants against organised crime group members based across Greater Glasgow.

This was part of a national investigation into large scale fraud targeting elderly and vulnerable victims, with seven people arrested for money laundering and fraud offences.

In December, the NCA supported a Police Scotland operation against modern slavery and human trafficking.

The inquiry targeted an Eastern European organised crime group operating north of the border and focussed on the laundering of £500,000.

The report says the group is believed to bring vulnerable Romanian women as young as 18 into the UK and force them to work in brothels under its control.

Another investigation targeted a fraudulent courier scheme involving 15 victims who had lost £1.8m. Four suspects were arrested.

The Child Sexual Abuse Referrals Bureau at the NCA sent Police Scotland 707 pieces of information related to online child sexual abuse.

Police Scotland were said to have made 42 arrests and safeguarded 69 children. An additional 80 victims were identified from indecent images of children.

The NCA said it also raised the alarm after NHS Dumfries and Galloway was targeted by a cyber attack in March.

Hackers stole three terabytes of data from the board's IT system and later published it on the dark web, part of the internet which can only be accessed with specialist software.

The NCA said the attack was at an advanced stage when its cyber crime unit "disseminated real time intelligence" to the board and Police Scotland.