Western governments are widely expected to intensify surveillance measures in the fight against global terrorism, reigniting the age-old debate of balancing civil liberties and national security.
The U.K., in particular, could ramp up monitoring of suspected radicals following three separate terror attacks in as many months — Prime Minister Theresa May listed a four-point plan to combat extremism after the militant group known as Islamic State, or ISIS, claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in central London that killed 7 and wounded 48 people.
Among May's four strategies is "to make sure the policy and security services have all the powers they need" — a statement widely interpreted to mean stricter laws that could hit civil rights and democratic principles.
May was set to chair a meeting of the government's emergency security committee on Monday morning, according to a spokeswoman.
Strategists now anticipate greater monitoring of suspected extremists — officials have identified around 3,000 people in the U.K. who are suspected of posing an imminent threat, according to local media.
"The number of potential attackers is overwhelming authorities' ability to monitor and assess them all. It really does call for a deeper understanding of profiles of people involved in these attacks," said Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical analysis at Stratfor. "The community as a whole needs to get better at forecasting who will be conducting these attacks."
He predicted an uptick in the number of global attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The U.K. already has one of the world's best intelligence services, so allocating more resources to surveillance and reconnaissance is one of the few options left, said Colin Clarke, political scientist at RAND.