UK does not have right type of force to counter Mumbai-style terror attack: ExpertNovember 30th, 2008 - 10:34 am ICT by ANI
London, Nov.30 (ANI): A former SAS officer has warned that Britain is not in a position to counter a terrorist strike similar to what happened in Mumbai this week, as it does not have the right type of forces to deal with such incidents should they surface.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the former Army officer, who cannot be named for security reasons, and provided support to the Metropolitan Police during the 7/7 and 21/7 London tube attacks, said the United Kingdom does not have the right type of counter-terrorist forces in London or other major cities to deal with a multi-site, and mobile terrorist incident such as was seen in Mumbai.
The former SAS colonel, who now works in the private sector developing an independent Blackberry-based communications, information and tracking technology that reduces the individual and corporate risks for those living and operating in dangerous countries, said almost every counter-terrorist force in the world would struggle to cope with multiple terrorist attacks on the scale faced in Mumbai and particularly in countries such as the UK that choose not arm its conventional police.
“The doomsday scenario that we always presented in planning was multiple and mobile incidents in London by suicidal armed terrorists because very quickly they could achieve a lot of fatalities before anyone could pinpoint the threats and react effectively. This would produce the type of chaos that would defy even the most sophisticated command and control systems. You would turn London into a temporary war zone very quickly,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
In the early stages of such an attack there would a lot of death and chaos. Our unarmed police would be able to do very little except report in. There would be many hours of chaos before the police, backed by the military counter-terrorist response teams were in a position to contain, let alone neutralise, the terrorist threats,” he added.
He said that British armed response teams are not as numerous, well trained or equipped as they should be to deal with a fast moving and violent a scenario as that which occurred in Mumbai.
“A Mumbai-style attack requires a military-type response. What we probably need is more forward-based rapidly deployable armed police units that are trained to find and fix a mobile enemy with limited/no information in a very confusing situation, to set the conditions for follow-on decisive assaults, he added.
The only other short-term option would be to prepare the limited number of Foot Guards and Household Cavalry to be prepared to do this, which may be possible, but less desirable politically for this country than a properly equipped police response,” he concluded. (ANI)
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