A report Queen Elizabeth II was targeted by radical Muslims on Saturday underscored the threat facing Britain, the US and their allies as they seek to blunt Islamic State’s advance in the Middle East.

Four men arrested yesterday in Britain planned a knife attack on the UK monarch, The Sun said today without attribution. London’s Metropolitan Police Service earlier said the four were involved in preparation of terrorist acts. Homes and vehicles are being searched as part of the investigation.

Yesterday’s arrests and searches in London are part of a continuing investigation into Islamic-related terrorism, police said. The operation followed the arrests on October 8 and September 25 of 13 men on suspicion of a range of terrorism offenses.

The first six months of the year saw a total of 69 terror-related arrests, with the biggest growth in offenses connected to Syria occurring in London, the MPS said in August.

Queen Elizabeth II (Picture by Eugene Majuru)

Queen Elizabeth II (Picture by Eugene Majuru)

Police in New York City are expanding Internet and social media monitoring to identify young people attracted to extremist online movements, Commissioner William Bratton said two days ago.

Last month 32-year-old Zale Thompson, described by police as a “self-radicalised convert to Islam,” was shot and killed after allegedly attacking four NYPD police officers with a hatchet. That came one day after a Canadian solider was murdered in Ottawa by a man also described by authorities as a radicalised follower of Islam.

Britain in August raised its terror threat to “severe,” the second-highest level, due to new intelligence, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying the battle against Islamist extremism is a “generational struggle” that will probably last decades. – SMH.com.au

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