Osama Bin Laden death: Met boss's terror threat warning

Osama Bin Laden
Image caption Sir Paul warned that Bin Laden's death would not spell the end of radical Islamist terrorism

London's top police officer has warned there can be "no let up" in the fight against terrorism after the death of Osama Bin Laden.

The al-Qaeda founder was killed by US special forces in a raid on Monday, with his body buried at sea.

But, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said in a speech in London that his death did not mark the end of an ideology.

"An attack is highly likely and could occur without warning," Sir Paul said.

Delivering the John Creaney memorial lecture at the Policy Exchange think-tank, in London, he warned people must remain alert to the threat from al-Qaeda.

"As government, the police and the security service assess the impact and consequences of the death of Osama Bin Laden, it is clear that there can be no let up in our vigilance," he continued.

"One man's death does not mark the end of an ideology and we must remain alert to the continuing threat from al Qaeda, its affiliates and those acting alone.

"The police and security services will continue to work locally, nationally and with our international partners to do everything possible to counter the terrorist threat.

"But we cannot do this alone, we need the help of the public to protect the country from the threat of terrorism."

Olympics 'a target'

The commissioner also expressed concerns about plans to move key anti-terrorist functions into the proposed new National Crime Agency.

He said there were "potential resourcing tensions" of linking counter-terrorism with organised crime.

Sir Paul added that discussions about institutional change must not lead to "unnecessary distractions" in the preparations for policing the Olympics.

The London 2012 Games are widely viewed as a potential terrorist target.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites