Police chief says anti-terror operations are a massive task

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Britain’s counter-terrorism chief has warned officers are grappling with exceptionally high numbers of investigations as they foil several murderous plots a year.

Amid heightened fears over the influence of extremist group Islamic State and arrests in Portsmouth and elsewhere, Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley spoke out.

The national policing lead for counter-terrorism took the unusual step of revealing details of the scale of the deadly threat that police face.

He said hundreds of suspected terrorists have been arrested so far this year, and that police are taking down more than 1,000 pieces of extremist material from the internet per week, including videos of beheadings, torture and 

Mr Rowley said: ‘So far this year we have made 218 arrests and are running exceptionally high numbers of counter-terrorism investigations, the likes of which we have not seen for several years.

‘We are disrupting several plots a year.

‘These plots are of varied sophistication, from individuals planning to carry out spontaneous yet deadly attacks to more complex conspiracies, almost all seemingly are either directed by or inspired by terrorism overseas.’

This week officers searched a home in Hudson Road, Southsea, linked to dead jihadi Ifthekar Jaman after four people were arrested over terrorism related offences.