First is a report from The Daily Mail describing the use of Nimrod surveillance aircraft to search for and track suspected Taliban mujahideen in British cities. These fellows are alleged to be some of those British Muslims who (as reported in last night’s news feed) went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban, and are now suspected to have returned home.
According to the news article:
Spy-in-sky patrols over British cities in hunt for Taliban fighters
MI5 is using a fleet of sophisticated surveillance aircraft to search for unidentified Britons who fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The manhunt has been ordered because it is feared the committed and highly trained fighters may have returned home to plot terror attacks in the UK.
Planes with eavesdropping equipment are now flying over British cities searching for returning Afghan fighters.
They are attempting to identify suspects using ‘voice prints’ of fighters with British accents picked up by RAF Nimrod spy planes monitoring Taliban battlefield radio signals.
The revelation comes after the former SAS commander in Afghanistan yesterday confirmed that British Muslim extremists were actively supporting Taliban and Al Qaeda attacks on British troops.
He said there was also evidence that these people were then returning home to plot further attacks in the UK.
Last year it was revealed that West Midlands Police had used the aircraft, which can monitor computer and mobile-phone communication and long-wave radios, to track suspects connected to the plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier.
Ironically, the homegrown British jihadis are the same kind of guys who have been penned up by the United States at Guantanamo. If it weren’t for the extreme pressure from the media and the Europeans to ease up on the “human rights violations” in Gitmo, those terrorists now roaming the streets of Bradford or Birmingham might be wearing orange jumpsuits and basking in their tropical paradise instead.
As a juxtaposition, consider this article from The Telegraph, which may or may not be related to the mujahideen being sought by the Nimrod aircraft:
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Police prepare terror attack warning for restaurants and cinemas
The Daily Telegraph has learned that the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, a specialist police unit, is drawing up guidance for hospitality and entertainment sites as part of a drive to prepare for terrorist attacks on crowded public places.
Big hotels will also be covered by the new “protective security guidance” to prepare for attacks including car bombs and suicide bombs.
Owners and managers of hospitality and entertainment firms will be told to assess their businesses’ likely vulnerabilities to attack and prepare contingency plans for staff in the event of an attack.
The police-led security office will this month start running counter-terrorism training exercises for businesses in the “night-time economy”
Known as ARGUS courses, the exercises will present staff and managers in restaurants, cinemas, theatres and hotels with a simulated terrorist attack.
On its website, NCTSO gives a stark warning about the threat to Britain posed by international terrorism.
It says: “Attacks around the world have shown that terrorists will attack those targets they perceive as being attractive.
“Amongst the likely targets for international terrorists are locations with comparatively limited protective security measures which afford the potential for terrorists to cause mass casualties.”
The British authorities are obviously contemplating the possibility of a reprise of the Bali nightclub bombing, but this time in their own cities. Is there a connection between the Nimrod intel-gathering and the potential for new urban terror attacks in the UK?
I have no idea, but the whole affair is food for thought.
Hat tips: JD for the Nimrod report; Cimmerian for the domestic terror warning.