The UK is facing the threat of "enormous and spectacular attacks" by Islamic State (IS) as the extremist group aims to wage war on Western lifestyles, the national head of counter-terrorism has warned.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that while in the past few years the Islamist group has called on would-be jihadis to attack police and the military, their plots are now broader "plans to attack Western lifestyle".
He said: "In recent months we've seen a broadening of that, much more plans to attack Western lifestyle, and obviously the Paris attacks in November. Going from that narrow focus on police and military as symbols of the state to something much broader. And you see a terrorist group which has big ambitions for enormous and spectacular attacks, not just the types that we've seen foiled to date."
He added: "You see a terrorist group that whilst on the one hand has been acting as a cult to use propaganda to radicalise people to act in their name ... you also see them trying to build bigger attacks."
Mr Rowley, who is the national policing lead for counter-terrorism, said that IS is trying to get supporters who have received military training in Syria into northern Europe to stage attacks.