Fears over terrorist attacks have deepened in the UK following warnings from the head of the domestic intelligence service, MI5. Eliza Manningham-Buller said Muslim extremists have been plotting at least 30 major terrorist attacks in Britain and the threats may even
involve chemical and nuclear devices.
Her remarks dominated much of the press in a country where memories of the July 7 terrorist attacks are still fresh.
Manningham-Buller said some young British Muslims were being groomed to become suicide bombers and her agents were tracking some 1,600 suspects. She added that most of them were British-born and linked to al Qaeda in Pakistan.
British Prime Miniser Tony Blair echoed her concerns, saying the threat can not be underestimated:
“I have been saying as you know for several years that this terrorist threat is very real. It’s been building up over a long period of time, it’s not just in this country, you have seen recently, for instance in India, France, other parts in the world. This is a threat that is growing up over a generation. I think she is absolutely right in saying that it will last a generation.”
Britain has been on heightened alert on a number of occasions since the suicide bombings in London which claimed the lives of 52 people.
The attacks were carried out by British-born Muslim extremists.
One of the biggest alerts came last August when authorities warned of imminent attacks on planes flying in and out of British airports.
The government has said law and order will be a major part of the next parliamentary session and tougher security measures are expected to be outlined next Wednesday.