The UK's intelligence and security services have prevented seven terrorist attacks on British soil over the last six months, David Cameron has revealed. The prime minister made the disclosure as the government announced it would boost MI5, MI6 and GCHQ numbers by almost 1,900 in the wake of Islamic State (Isis) linked assaults on Paris on 13 November.
Cameron warned that the jihadist attacks "could happen here" and promised that his administration would do "everything we can do defeat these people who are trying to destroy our way of life". The prime minister also told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months."
The comments come as the Conservative leader is set to discuss the West's reaction to the Paris attacks, which have left at least 129 dead and hundreds injured, at a G20 meeting in Turkey on 16 November. So far one Briton, 36-year-old Nick Alexander, has been named among the victims of the jihadists.
Meanwhile, the UK government is set to confirm that it will boost the workforce of the country's intelligence agencies by 15%, putting combined MI5, MI6 and GCHQ numbers to around 15,000. Cameron also promised to "build the case" for bombing in Syria after the French military launched air strikes on the Isis capital of Raqqa on 15 November in reaction to the Paris attacks.
But the prime minister was defeated in 2013 in the House of Commons when he tabled a vote on bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his forces. Labour are still opposed to RAF strikes on the Middle Eastern country, but Lord Charles Falconer said the party could be persuaded to back such an action if the UN approved it.
"It cannot be done without there being a major international effort. That is what needs now to be looked at, and looked at as a matter of urgency. And it needs to be looked at in a way that convinces the people of Britain," the shadow justice secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.
A minute's silence will be held across the UK at 11:00am GMT to remember those killed in the Paris attacks. Members of the public who have been directly affected by the incidents in Paris, or who are concerned about family members and friends who may be directly affected can call the Foreign Office on 020 7008 0000.