By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
Daesh militants in Afghanistan are still posing a potential threat to carry out attacks in the U.K. and Western Europe as they are in communication with cells there, British government warned Monday.
British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson told British media that the U.K. must act to prevent such an attack.
"What we see is a real threat posed by these groups to the UK and we've got to be acting as we are to ensure that we do not see future Manchester-style attacks," Williamson said, speaking to Sky News, in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i Sharif.
“We consistently see terrorist groups operating here in Afghanistan, [and] evidence of their links back not just to the United Kingdom but to the whole of continental Europe," said Williamson, who is in Afghanistan to visit British troops stationed in this country.
Terror threat in the UK
The terrorist incidents hit the U.K. in 2017 as attacks in Manchester and London left 36 people dead.
The U.K. is facing an “intense” terrorism challenge and fresh attacks in the country are inevitable, the head of the country’s intelligence service said almost a year ago.
“That threat is multi-dimensional, evolving rapidly and operating at a scale and pace we’ve not seen before,” Andrew Parker, director general of the MI5, had said in a rare public interview.
Parker’s speech came at a time when the British intelligence services were under fire after five terror attacks in the U.K. last year.
Parker, had also said MI5 had stopped far more terror plots than those that caused human casualties this year and intelligence work had thwarted 20 plots in the last four years.
The terror threat level in the U.K. had been raised from "severe" to "critical", following the last year’s terror attacks.
Soldiers were placed at key locations, including at Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, Embassies and Downing Street.
The terror threat level was reduced to "severe" after a few days each time it was raised, and it remains at "severe", which means an attack is highly likely.