CONTEST, the UK's Counter-terrorism strategy, aims to reduce the risk to the United Kingdom and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.
The new Counter-terrorism strategy
Our new Counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) has been changed to reflect the terrorist threats we now face, and the government's security and counter-terrorism policies. This replaces the version published in 2009; see the new Counter-terrorism strategy document.
The current environment
International counter-terrorism work has made significant progress over the past ten years. Al Qa’ida is weaker than at any time since 9/11. It has played no role in recent political change in North Africa and the Middle East. Its ideology has been widely discredited and it has failed in all its objectives.
Continued international pressure can further reduce its capability and the UK must work with other countries to seize those opportunities in the coming months and years.
But, Al Qa’ida continues to be a significant threat and other terrorist groups, some affiliated to Al Qa’ida, have become stronger. The threat in Northern Ireland is currently rated as ‘Severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely. The threat from Northern Ireland related terrorism in Great Britain is currently rated ‘Moderate’, meaning an attack is possible, but not likely.
The government will therefore continue to give the highest importance to its counter-terrorism work.
CONTEST is organised around four principal workstreams:
- Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
- Prevent: to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
- Protect: to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack
- Prepare: where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact