The director general of MI5 has claimed today that 34 terrorist plots in the UK have been foiled since 7/7, an average of about 4.3 a year.
This compares to the fact that there were at least 186 terrorist attacks in Great Britain between 1980 and 1996, an average of 11.6 a year. This figure does not include incidents in Northern Ireland, it does not include plots that were foiled before they even got started, and it does not include incidents before 1989 that did not result in death or injury.
Fewer than 60 people have been killed by Islamic terrorists in the UK since 2001. More than 3400 were killed in the Troubles between the late sixties and the late nineties.
MI5 and the government would have us believe that Islamic terrorism represents a significant threat to the UK and that as such the curtailing of various civil liberties can be justified. In actual fact the terrorist threat to this country has been very significantly less in the past decade than in the three or four decades previously, quite independently of the workings of MI5 and the police.