Bristol at more risk of terror attack than London thanks to anarchists
Anarchists mean Bristol is at higher risk of suffering a terror attack than London, according to a new report.
The city is said to be second in the UK, behind only Belfast, of places at danger of terrorism.
Far left anarchist radical attacks are said to be the reason why the city is so far up the list.
Operation Rhone was set up by police last year to investigate around 120 different attacks in and around the city, which caused more than £20 million of damage
They include arsonists hitting 13 communication masts, torching dozens of luxury cars and burning down a £16 million police firearms training centre in Portishead.
Groups are also thought to have smashed windows at banks, damaged a courthouse, broken windows and poured paint over the Bristol Post offices during three years of mayhem.
In February 2014, three military vehicles in Bristol were destroyed and the arson was claimed to be the work of a group called the Informal Anarchist Federation IAF.
The IAF has also been linked to attacks on politicians' homes, the destruction of a broadcast mast and the sabotaging of train lines in the city.
No one has been killed in the city.
Belfast is ranked at number 91 of the 1,300 listed cities while Bristol comes in at number 179 compared to Cardiff at 314; Manchester 399 and London 401.
The list has been compiled by global risk management firm, Verisk Maplecroft, and puts Baghdad in the number one spot, with 12 cities across the world said to be at "extreme risk".
A spokesman for the firm said: "Despite low-level attacks by anarchists and left wing radicals in cities including Bristol and Cardiff, commercial centres, above all London, remains the primary focus of Islamist militant groups looking to commit a large-scale terrorist attack in the UK.
"London's low level of risk in the index reflects the success of the British security services since the 7/7 attacks in preventing any further significant incidents."
Senior investigating officer at Avon and Somerset Police, deputy chief Inspector Andy Bevan, said: "We are continuing to explore numerous lines of inquiry including investigating claims of responsibility which have been made on various online websites or documents.
"We will pursue every avenue we can in order to bring whoever is guilty of committing the offences to justice."
Operation Rhone was set up in June 2014 with a budget of £35,000 and has to date cost around £26,000.
Six people have been arrested since it began, but green activist Emma Shepherd has been the only person convicted by the investigation team.
The other five have been released without charge.
The 33-year-old was said to be part of the shadowy group of political extremists who had been carrying out attacks on buildings and property.
She put home-made booby traps on the road outside a police base in Emerson's Green on New Year's Eve last year.
The care worker's actions wrecked tyres on three Ford Focus police cars as they left Concorde House.
Sheppard, who lived in Easton, was jailed for two years after she pleaded guilty to damaging property being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
In December last year cops appealed for information on the whereabouts of a suspect called 'Badger' in connection with two of the attacks.
Badger, whose real name is Huw Norfolk, was thought to have fled abroad and had managed to evade police for around three years.
The 27-year-old is understood to still be at large despite the £10,000 reward for information being stumped up and last year's appeal. Badger, from Bristol, also known as Geoffry Howard has a tattoo stating 'Anarchy and Peace' on his left arm.
SOME OF THE ATTACKS
April 2012: An attack on a mast at Bathampton saw 80,000 homes lose their TV signal for several days
May 2012: Train signal cable wires were dug up and set on fire at Parson Street and Bedminster stations.
May 2013: A home-made bomb gutted the front of North Avon Magistrates' Court in Yate.
August 2013: Anarchists took responsibility for a firebomb at Barclays bank in Brislington.
August 2013: Anarchists set fire to a Avon and Somerset police firearms training centre in Portishead causing £18 million worth of damage.
February 2014: Three vehicles at the Royal Marine Force Voluntary Reserve Base in Litfield Place, Clifton Down were torched.