London, Oct.15 : A significant terror plot is being investigated by the security services, Britain's counter-terrorism minister has warned. Lord West's comments came the day after the Lords forced the Government to abandon plans to extend detention without trial.
Lord West, who advises the Prime Minister on security matters, told the House of Lords: "There is another great plot building up again and we are monitoring this."
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith dropped the measure from the bill after it was defeated in the upper house but warned critics they were exposing the country to a greater risk. During a debate on the Counter-terrorism Bill, Lord West repeated the government's intention to keep the proposals in a separate piece of legislation to be introduced if needed in the face of an emergency.
He told peers: "Some of the measures that we have put into place in the past 15 months have made us safer, but that does not mean that we are safe.
"The threat is huge. It dipped slightly and is now rising again within the context of 'severe'.
"There are large complex plots. We unravelled one, which caused damage to al-Qaeda and the plots faded slightly.
"However, another great plot is building up again, which we are monitoring.
The Daily Telegraph reported two weeks ago that security sources believed terrorist activity was nearing "critical".
The threat level is at the "severe end of severe" according to sources who say the level of "ambient activity" among terrorist cells has increased in recent months and they are now operating at full stretch.