Theodore's World: MI5 Chief's Warning On Terrorism

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November 10, 2006

MI5 Chief's Warning On Terrorism

MI5 chief's warning on terrorism

MI5 knows of 30 terror plots and is keeping 1,600 individuals under surveillance, the security service's head has said.

In a speech to academics Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller said the terror threat was "serious" and "growing" and would be "with us for a generation".

She warned future terrorists could mount chemical or nuclear attacks.

Tory security spokesman Patrick Mercer said the UK needed more "spooks and secret agents" to tackle the problem.

MI5 has increased in size by nearly 50% since 9/11 and now stands at roughly 2,800 staff.

But according to Dame Eliza the concern is that even with this rapid growth it will not be able to investigate nearly enough of the activity that is currently under way in the UK. She said hard choices would have to be made about resources.

Dame Eliza's warning comes days after a UK man was sentenced to at least 40 years in jail for planning a series of attacks.

Attacks planned by Dhiren Barot, 34, from London, included using a so-called "dirty bomb" using radioactive material.

Dame Eliza, who rarely speaks in public, gave a speech to a small audience on Thursday, detailing what she believes her organisation and the UK is facing.

She said that, since the 7 July bombings, five further major conspiracies in the UK had been thwarted.

"Today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1,600 identified individuals - and there will be many we don't know - who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas," she said.
"What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from al-Qaeda in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK.
"Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices.
"Tomorrow's threat may - I suggest will - include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology."

Out of the 200 or so groups being watched by MI5, a smaller subset are of the highest priority because its feared that they are plotting actual attacks.

"We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten?

"No, nearer 30 that we currently know of.
"These plots often have linked back to al-Qaeda in Pakistan and through those links al-Qaeda gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale."

Of the 30 plots some may turn out to be less credible or advanced but it's hard to be sure until they are fully investigated. And that takes resources.

"Because of the sheer scale of what we face - my service has seen an 80% increase in casework since January - the task is daunting.
"It is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens," she warned.
"Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers."

Wild Thing's comment.......

So um how will Pelosi, Kerry, Murtha and company tackle this problem? By cutting spending and showing more "compassion"? .....To the terrorist gripes?

Posted by Wild Thing at November 10, 2006 01:44 AM


Yep, you've got them dialed in. How much of Dearbornistan will become MOSLEM? Ever wonder if Ford's problems might just be caused by prayer meetings five times a day in Detroit? The party of peace is going to offer more concessions. I can see it coming, Hillary as president of the new Communist-Islamic United States.

Posted by: Jack at November 10, 2006 07:54 AM

But we're not at war ~ we're in a "situation"!
Lord help us...and most especially, the troops.

Posted by: yankeemom at November 10, 2006 08:47 AM

Jack, wow I wonder, I had not even thought of that. Very interesting what you said about Ford.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 11, 2006 04:24 AM

Yankeemom, I agree, lots of prayers for our troops.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 11, 2006 04:24 AM