Top counter-terrorism officer warns music fans could be target of next UK terror attack

Music executives told they need to take extra security measures

One of Britain’s top counter-terrorism officers has warned that music fans could be the target of the next major terrorist attack, whilst speaking at an anti-terrorism briefing at Wembley stadium ahead of the UK’s festival season.

Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan police, said that festivals, sports venues and nightclubs have all been put on “high alert” and that entertainment events were “right at the top of the agenda”.

Speaking at the event at Wembley stadium, where music executives attended alongside Premier League officials, he told how major stadiums have security measures in place, but outlined fears for the night-time economy.

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According to The Sunday Times, he said, “I’d want to see the owners and event managers taking the same kind of security precautions. These people are perfectly happy to target civilians with maximum terror impact.”

Basu continued to say that music events are of particular concern due to it being hard to secure their large perimeters.

The warning comes after it was revealed that UK music venues were increasing security following the Paris terror attacks in which 130 people were killed and around 350 were injured last November. Shortly after that, speaking about the incident at the Eagles of Death Metal gig at Le Bataclan venue, Slayer’s Kerry King said he’s “surprised that it took the terrorists this long to target a rock concert.”

Last month, the owners of Paris’ Le Bataclan announced that it will reopen later this year, with The Libertines’ frontman Pete Doherty booked for one of the first shows in the relaunched venue.