And those are just the ones they’ve discovered:

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has said previously that security services have foiled three attacks by Al-Qaeda terrorists since the July 7 suicide bombings. Reid may also have been including at least three more alleged plots where charges are current.

That still appears to leave a further 13 current Islamist plots which, on Reid’s account, are under investigation.

Earlier this month, MI5 estimated the number of terrorists inside the UK at 700. ToL says the new figure is 1,200. The AP says it’s a continental problem and, worse, that the suspects are mostly homegrown freelancers not operating within networks, which makes them that much harder to detect.

“There is no profile; they come from everywhere,” said Manfred Murck, deputy director of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which tracks extremist activity in the northern city of Hamburg, home to three of the four Sept. 11 suicide pilots. “You can’t concentrate on certain targets, you can’t concentrate on certain persons … Everything is possible, anything goes, and you just have to try and be as close as you can to the whole group.”

How bad is it?

In France, authorities have blocked at least a dozen attacks in the past decade, said Louis Caprioli, the former assistant director of the DST, the country’s main counterintelligence agency. Tore Bjoergo, a terrorism expert at the Norwegian Police University College, put the number of thwarted attacks throughout Europe at 30 to 40 since 9/11.

With this as backdrop, Chomsky recently turned up on Lebanese TV to weigh the comparative value of America’s and Israel’s policies versus those of, say, Hamas. He’s not a fan of any of them, but if you forced him to choose… Well, just click the image to watch.

chomsky-hamas.jpg

Update: A deputy director of Canada’s CIA says they’ve got their hands full too.