Britain to train 60,000 strong army of shop, hotel staff to counter terrorists

March 23rd, 2009 - 3:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown

London, Mar 23 (ANI): Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has confirmed that Britain has been placed on terror alert, and warned that an attack on the country is highly likely.

She said the country would train 60,000 shop and hotel staff to deal with any untoward incident.

Speaking ahead of the publication of a new anti-terrorism strategy, Jacqui Smith said: An attack on this country is highly likely. It could happen without warning.

Smith added: What were completely clear about is that, if were going to address the threat from terrorism, we need to do that alongside the 60,000 people that were now training up to respond to a terrorist threat, in everywhere from our shopping centres to our hotels. This is no longer something you can do behind closed doors and in secret.

The Home Office document, which is expected to make public the greatest amount of detail yet released on the UKs anti-terrorism preparations, will say that the biggest threat remains from militant groups linked to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown used a newspaper article on Sunday to warn of the global danger posed by al-Qaedas terror network, The Scotsman reported.

The UKs security information has been updated since last years bomb attacks on hotels in Mumbai, India, and is said to be the most comprehensive of any government in the world.

The UK has some 3,000 counter-terrorism police, up from 1,700 in 2003, with a budget that will reach 3.5 billion pounds by 2011. The domestic security service, MI5, has been doubled in size in the past six years.

Almost 200 people were convicted of terrorist-related offences between 2001 and 2008.

The document updates a strategy dating from 2003, known as prevent, pursue, protect and prepare. This has concentrated on preventing radicalisation of potential terrorist recruits and improving the UK’’s readiness for an attack. (ANI)

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