Right-Wing Terrorism: The UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy


Right-wing terrorism is an emerging transnational threat that is primarily borne from right-wing ideologies. Therefore, there is a call to international cooperation with the sole intention of dealing with the menace because of stabilizing global peace (De Londras, 2019). The United Kingdom has a set of prevention measures for right-wing terrorism through its security apparatus. The United Kingdom counter-terrorism strategies primarily lay focus on the motivation and methodologies of the terrorists to thwart their plans before their commencement, thus, maintaining the security of the country (Pistone, et al., 2019). The UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) is a sum of the measures being undertaken to make the nation safe through international cooperation, including gathering intelligence and working with civil society to minimize any form of a far-right terror attack (Morris, 2019). Right-wing terrorism compromises national security in the United Kingdom (UK), with the UK counter-terrorism strategy being the national framework to counter its spread through proportionate, legal, accountable, and necessary operational response.

UK’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST)

CONTEST is the framework that the United Kingdom government utilized in the aversion of any form of far-right terrorism that is existent or is likely to occur within the United Kingdom. The strategy goals include investigation and disruption of any planned terrorism act, working together with local organizations to inhibit residents and citizens from joining a terrorist organization, and enhancing the capacity of the security organs to avert any form of terrorism that could be realized within the country (Ali, 2021). The other goal is to minimize the harm that could be drawn from a terrorist attack and further facilitate recovery after a terror (Jämte & Ellefsen, 2020). The four goals lead to the realization of minimal risk as the UK progressively works on eliminating all acts of terror that could exist within the country.

Proportionate, Legal, Accountable, Necessary (PLAN) in Operational Response

The operational response delves into creating a multiagency framework that looks into the mechanisms through which terrorists are recruited within the country, including laying into the countermeasures that would lead to eliminating the vice (Brown, 2019). The operational response tends to delve into the provision of proportional force and strategies where necessary, operation within the legal framework, accountability to the UK citizens, and use of force only where necessary.

While the police and the military are the key organizations that advance the PLAN and prevent strategy, ideally, the prevention program is supported by severe organizations whose sole mandate is to ensure that the protection of the United Kingdom from any form of harm is realized (Acik et al., 2018). The other agencies involved in preventing right-wing terrorists within the United Kingdom include the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, religious organizations, and civil society groups (Kundnani & Hayes, 2018). The operational response to the prevention of the identified forms of right-wing terrorism has primarily focused on preventing the vulnerable population from recruitment into terrorist groups and organizations (Blackbourn et al., 2019). The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre within the United Kingdom has the crucial role of gathering intelligence and using such information to classify information. In such a case, it plays a vital role in determining any likely threat within the country, including the countermeasures used to thwart a planned far-right terror activity (Finch et al., 2019). In all strategies implemented, the agencies must ensure the proportionality, legality, accountability, and the necessity of every decision to ensure sustainable response design.

Right-Wing Terrorist Formations in the United Kingdom

National Action is a proscribed right-wing terrorism group within the United Kingdom that the UK government has constantly dealt with to thwart the harm they would pose to the UK population. The further ban of the National Socialists Anti-Capitalists Action and the Scottish Dawg are additional measures that have been put in place by the UK government to maintain the security of their land. As the influential right-wing terrorism group, the National Action has since evolved into smaller groups, with the most notable ones being System Resistance Network and the Sonnenkreig Division. The use of intelligence in determining the ideologies of such formations and how they plan to havoc terror is an affirmation of the use of violence in countering right-wing terrorism within the UK.


Proscription is a legal mechanism that the United Kingdom sought to counter any form of terrorism. The Terrorism Act 2000 provides the government with the right to ban any formation that would advance right-wing ideologies, which are not consistent with the UK’s laws and could compromise its stability. Based on the legislation, any formation or organization that outrights, glorifies, or promotes terrorism needs to be banned from continued operations.

It would not be eligible for registration within the United Kingdom. Proscription is a detailed process that is primarily meant for countering any form of terrorism that could pose adverse effects on the security of a state (Scrivens & Perry, 2017). Proscription is preceded by gathering intelligence, which would then eliminate any form of harm that a terrorist formation could cause to a country. Often, the right-wing ideologies tend to advance ideas connected to political, religious, or ethnic causes but would aggravate harm to social cohesion or livelihoods of the residents of a country if they were not countered within a time framework.

The heterogeneous nature of the local growth terrorist groups leads to difficulty ascertaining some of the emerging far-right terrorist groups within the United Kingdom. The far-rights terrorists in Britain have a heterogeneous profile, with most of them being single males with a median age of 27. Additionally, most unidentified individuals have their origin from the North African countries such as Morocco and Algeria, with the individuals being in the UK for either work or study.

The Al-Qaida propaganda has been a vital source of the far-right extremisms, with some British-born individuals falling to the Al-Qaeda information of hitting an infidel within their hands. A notable example is the planned terror attacks within the UK that are primarily driven by the need to counter the operations of the western nations in Afghanistan through aiding the killing of the west of countries. The far-right extremists tend to emerge in response to what the Islamic terrorists and Al-Qaeda terrorists conduct by forming religious and political ideologies such as “British First” (Gelber, 2018). Such formations showcase the implications of proscription in terrorism.


Another way that the UK issues counter-response to right-wing terrorism is through financing conventions. Lessons learned from the frameworks established to address the terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda on creating a financing framework to support the counter-terrorist attack have been a vital interest of the member states. The financing convention is one of the significant steps towards providing an adequate response to the terrorist’s action, and it forms a multinational course of action. Further, to weaken the efforts of the terrorist groups, the treaty requires the member states to criminalize the financing to such formations (Stevenson, 2019). The United Kingdom, as one of the party-state to the treaty, has made it a crime to finance any criminal group’s activity.

In practice, the financier of the terrorist act becomes a party to the actions and bears the liability of the effects of the terrorist act. It, therefore, makes the financier fully responsible for the crimes executed together with the far-right extremists. Identification and monitoring of suspicious activities that can later translate to terrorist activities have been a challenge to the law enforcers. Likewise, the financial institutions may find it challenging to identify dubious financial dealings that are likely to pertain to the financing of the terrorist acts due to the nature of these acts.

Concurrently, domestic designations of terrorist groups become essential in combating terrorism and are established to work together with the law enforcers and the financial institutions in the identification of suspicious cases. According to Perry and Scrivens (2019), right-wing violence has become a global issue. Countries have to join hands in financing counter-terrorism measures such as financing the United Nations counter-terrorism committees that alert on possible attacks by groups associated with right-wing extremism. Though there are challenges to establishing a multilateral response, the United Nations, United Kingdom, and other member partners have tools available that they have adapted from efforts to disrupt the financing and organization of these terrorist activities. The United Kingdom has been in line with suggestions of the United Nations about the required responses to counter the impacts of the terrorism activities by implementing the recommendations and collaborating with the union when needed (Jones, 2018). Essentially, the strategies aimed at enhancing accountability and proportionate allocation of resources in economic sustainability.


The significant challenge to the fight against far-right terrorism is a public perception that the Islamic community is primarily targeted in the intelligence-gathering process. Those traveling to the Islamic nations within the Middle East are likely to be recruited into the terrorist organizations poses a challenge to the far-right terrorist prevention plans (Grace, 2018). Furthermore, the undertaking that far-right terrorism is locally bred with deep underground networks is a challenge to the security intelligence agencies to unearth. The identified far-right extremist groups have been deemed to metamorphose into different outfits that pose harm and danger to the UK society, thus, compromising the security situation within the United Kingdom (Allen et al., 2019). There is grave harm that the UK population has been exposed to, based on the understanding that far terrorism is homegrown.

Based on the course materials, the notable forms of far-right terrorism realized in the country are planting a homemade bomb in a train that partially detonated, leading to the deaths of 30 people in 2017 and a group of Muslims being hit by a van while attending Ramadan prayers in 2017 (BBC News, 2017). The killing of Labor MP, Jo Cox, for having access to extremist websites in 2016 is another notable example of the far-right extremists being deeply embedded within some UK citizens who are not affiliated with the banned terrorist formations (Perry et al., 2018). The difficulty in identifying the individual far rights extremists poses a challenge to the ability of the security agencies to exterminate such forms of violence within the country.


Concisely, far-right terrorism is an undertaking that CONTEST intends to exterminate from interagency and international collaborations. While making the country secure within its bore is its key priority area, the other notable area of concern is protecting the interests of the land within its foreign missions. Far-right extremists has had grave harm that has led to the death of a legislator and the arming of travelers with the British national being part of the syndicate that promotes the retrogressive practices within the country. A key challenge is the far-right terrorism being existent and rooted within the country despite the proscription of the illegal group within the nation.

The United Kingdom rejected right-wing extremism proving that the country represents decency, tolerance, and respect for human life. That explains why the government is keen on its strategies for tackling right-wing acts with all its efforts. One approach is the prevent strategy which aims at protecting the United Kingdom from suffering from any harm. In response, the United Kingdom proscribed a right-wing terrorism group within the United Kingdom which embraced PLAN as key principles. It established the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows the government to ban any grouping that is suspicious. Towards the reduction of the strengths of the terrorist formations, the government has criminalized financing of any terrorist acts. The nation has signed treaties that improve the response strategies for countering terrorist actions and abide by the requirements of the treaties to counter the activities of the terrorist groups jointly.


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