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The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism

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CONTEST: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism
July 2011



1.01. This is the third published version of the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. This new strategy reflects the changing terrorist threat and incorporates new Government policies on counter-terrorism. 1.02. The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.


CONTEST: The United Kingdom’s Strategy for Countering Terrorism

Strategic context

1.03. Last year, over 10,000 people were killed by terrorists around the world. But international law enforcement and military collaboration are changing the threats we face. 1.04. The leadership group of Al Qa’ida is now weaker than at any time since 9/11. It has played no role in recent political change in North Africa and the Middle East. Its ideology has been widely discredited and it has failed in all its objectives. Continued international pressure can further reduce its capability. But Al Qa’ida continues to pose a threat to our own security; and groups affiliated to Al Qa’ida – notably in Yemen and Somalia – have emerged over the past two years to be a substantial threat in their own right.

1.05. Al Qa’ida is responsible for only a small fraction of terrorist attacks. Other groups, independent from Al Qa’ida but broadly sympathetic to its aims, continue to emerge and to conduct attacks around the world. 1.06. We judge that four factors will continue to enable terrorist groups to grow and to survive: conflict and instability; aspects of modern technology; a pervasive ideology; and radicalisation. 1.07. The threats we face here reflect global trends. Al Qa’ida, groups affiliated to Al Qa’ida, other terrorist groups and lone terrorists have all tried to operate in this country. Some…...

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