Home Department written question – answered on 18th March 2009.

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Photo of Patrick Mercer Patrick Mercer Conservative, Newark

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals are believed by the Security Service to pose a direct threat to national security and public safety because of their support for terrorism.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

The Security Service will investigate individuals where there is cause for concern regarding their behaviour or activities. Where it is determined that an individual poses a direct threat to national security and public safety, the Security Service, in co-operation with the police, will take disruptive action. However, the number of individuals under investigation by the Security Service at any one time does not necessarily equate to the number of people who pose a direct threat. This is because the police and security and intelligence agencies will never have comprehensive coverage or surveillance so there could be extremist activities of which we are not aware.

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