Certain areas in the UK have been identified as being terrorist hot-spots and we will be particularly keen to glean further intelligence and garner sources there
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Three US officers from a specialist FBI counter-terror unit are expected to land at Heathrow on Tuesday, with another 10 arriving within the week and dozens more over coming months.
They will monitor suspect passengers as well as investigate “terror hot-spots” across Britain in the wake of the beheading of American James Foley in Iraq. Last night, however, critics claimed their arrival was an admission that cuts to police and the UK Border Force had left Britain out of its depth and overwhelmed in the war on terror.
Officially, US officers who have been monitoring terrorist activity ever since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 will liaise with the Metropolitan Police’s secretive SO15 counter-terrorism command and MI5.
However, there are fears they eventually intend to conduct their own parallel investigations and recruit their own informants in UK and European jihadi circles.
Last night a US intelligence source told the Sunday Express: “Certain areas in the UK have been identified as being terrorist hot-spots and we will be particularly keen to glean further intelligence and garner sources there.
“At airports we will help to monitor by cross-checking details with an international terrorist database which is updated daily.
“The team will be working closely with UK intelligence officers already based at airports but may be a little thin on manpower. Essentially we bring to the table advanced monitoring capabilities and terrorist-tracking and identification techniques which have been tried and tested.”
The move comes amid growing US concerns that Britain is not doing enough to stem the flow of jihadists travelling to join the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
The source added: “There is a suspicion among the US intelligence community that Britain has been and still is a soft touch for jihadists. We are sending officers to assist the British authorities in collating information using the most up-to-date techniques.”
Labour’s shadow policing minister Diana Johnson said: “The questions being raised about border security are worrying but perhaps unsurprising.
“The Home Office have stretched the UK Border Agency to breaking point, so it is little wonder gaps are emerging.” Another Labour MP, Khalid Mahmood, said: “It’s a bizarre turn of affairs that they are coming here to police our streets and it says a lot about the inadequacies of our current systems.
“Our airports are undermanned and maybe American assistance in that area will be a good thing.
“Overall though, the FBI coming here is an admission by the Government that it is out of its depth in dealing with the problem.”
Tory MP Andrew Percy said: “We have failed as a nation to tackle this problem, so I am more than happy to have the FBI on the ground in this country so long as they work under the direction of the British authorities.”
Last night Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned: “We’re likely to be dealing with the enduring threat from Syria and Iraq for a generation.
“IS are turning a swathe of Iraq and Syria into a terrorist state as a base for attacks on the West. Unless they are stopped, sooner or later they will seek to strike us on British soil..”
The Met Police refused to comment other than to confirm it often works with US partners.
NWN: How can this be ? Any Yank telling me what to do can just do one.