Meghan Markle receives threats while in UK, counterterrorism head claims

Meghan Markle, the US fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry, attends an Anzac Day dawn service at Hyde Park Corner in London on April 25, 2018. - Anzac Day commemorates Australian and New Zealand casualties and veterans of conflicts and marks the anniversary of the landings in the Dardanelles on April 25, 1915 that would signal the start of the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a counterterrorism official, Meghan Markle received threats while she and Prince Harry were still in the United Kingdom.

Neil Basu, the former head of counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Police, spoke out about the genuine threats to the Duchess of Sussex in a new interview with Channel 4 News. He talked about it after resigning as the Met Police’s Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations.

In a video clip shared on Twitter, journalist Cathy Newman asked:

“You were in charge of royal protection. How would you characterize the threats that Meghan and Harry received?”

Basu replied:

“Well, disgusting and very real.”

Extreme right-wing terrorism, he claims, is a “rapidly growing threat” to the country. Newman inquired whether the threats made against Markle were “serious” and “credible,” and whether they came from the far-right.

Basu replied, per People:

“Absolutely, and if you’d seen the stuff that was written and you were receiving it… the kind of rhetoric that’s online, if you don’t know what I know, you would feel under threat all of the time.”

When Newman asked again if the life of Prince Harry’s wife was truly threatened, the former counterterrorism chief replied in the affirmative.

He said:

“Absolutely. We had teams investigating it. People have been prosecuted for those threats.”

Prince Harry offered to pay for police protection in the United Kingdom, but the Home Office turned him down twice. He requested a judicial review of the refusal of his request, stating that he did not feel safe bringing his family back to his home country.

His rep stated:

“Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats.”

The High Court in London granted permission for a judicial review of his UK government-funded security in July. Since they stepped down from their royal duties, the Sussexes’ security has been handled on a “flexible, case-by-case” basis. His lawyer, Shaheed Fatima, contended that “flexibility sometimes means no security.”

Judge Jonathan Swift has granted Prince Harry permission to seek judicial review of the decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (RAVEC). Following the judge’s decision, the legal action between Prince Harry and the United Kingdom government will be heard in full at the High Court in London.