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Official UK position: We’re buggered!

Following last week’s ricin incident it seems that the British authorities have decided to come clean with the public:

“British ministers have been warned by their security advisers that a west European city is “likely” to be the target of a terrorist attack using a chemical or other non-conventional weapon in the short-to-medium term.

They have also warned that they cannot be sure they know the identity of more than 50 per cent of people in the UK who might carry out a terrorist attack on behalf of al-Qaeda.”

Just how long, I wonder, is that ‘short-to-medium’ term? And just how many is ’50 per cent’? Is that two people or ten thousand people? Any clue?

Is this true and we’re being softened up to endure the worst or is it hogwash because the authorities have a fairly good idea who these people are but don’t want to let on that they know? Beats me.

I will say, however, that if the claim in the second paragraph turns out to be correct then, leaving aside the possible ghastly consequences for a moment, it really does illustrate the extent to which the British internal security apparatus has been woefully misdirected these last few years.

We live in a country with more CCTV cameras per square mile than any other country on earth, our police and customs officials have surveillance and information gathering powers that the KGB would envy and, because of Money Laundering Regulations, it is almost impossible to function in our society without having to prove identity. If I failed to send in my VAT Form at the end of this month, the state will be all over me like bluebottles on a dog-turd. Yet we could, conceivably, be playing host to scores or maybe even hundreds of potential mass-murdering terrorists and the response of the security services is to shrug and say ‘sorry, guv, haven’t got the foggiest’.

Any chance of a re-assessment of priorities in future?

6 comments to Official UK position: We’re buggered!

  • Dennis P.

    We all know full well what the response to this will be. More government oversight and intrusion into people’s lives. Maybe the government should consider TARGETED intrusions into say Muslims who attend radical mosques and who are between the ages of 17 and 40

  • Given the lack of success by ‘Al-Qaeda’ since September 11th 2001 in terrorist attacks upon the West, and their reliance upon ‘soft targets’ elsewhere, are our current intelligence campaigns working? A lack of terrorist attacks in the UK could be construed as success so far.

    Surely it’s better to be honest with a risk warning stating that the prevention of terrorist attacks is not guaranteed and keeping citizens aware of this possibility.

  • Julian Morrison

    Isn’t it obvious, that finding a terrorist is no easy task? They don’t necessarily shout their affiliation from the mosque top, heck they don’t necessarily attend mosque or have visible middle-eastern ancestry. And they may not even have a police record. So how are you going to hunt them? The only way is spies and patience. If you’re truthful about the results of spying, you can say “we know some of them” but never “…all of them”. And the ones you do know are probably more strategically useful walking the streets and accidentally giving away their buddies, than locked up behind bars.

    Hence, normal counterterrorism appears to be cluelessness, even when it isn’t really anything of the sort.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    I think we will either have to settle for a certain “level” of terrorism or violate some civil liberties. The opposition is much more like a violent group of gangs than an organized military.

    Radical Islam is taking advantage of every opportunity our (relatively) free societies offer them. They mean us great harm.

    I’m willing to bring back “alien and sedition” laws.

  • A Dumb American

    Attack a European city?!?

    I know Why They Hate Us™, but why do they hate YOU?


  • To them, we’re all the same.

    Please note: British is not European.