Britain braces for attacks

2015-01-09 17:59

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London - The jobs of 25 armed police officers in the northern English city of Manchester were on Friday declared safe from cost-cutting measures as Britain braces for possible terrorist attacks which the chief of the intelligence agency MI5 chief warned were unstoppable.

A decision was made to retain the posts "taking into account the threats and risks of policing an area as diverse as Greater Manchester," the police said.

Greater Manchester Police chief Sir Peter Fahy told the BBC: "In the past, it was just about big plots coming in from the outside. Now we're just as concerned about individuals in this country being rapidly brainwashed on the internet and suddenly deciding to perform some chaotic attack."

MI5 chief Andrew Parker said that police and the spy agency he leads had "stopped three UK terrorist plots" in recent months.

Parker warned that "we can't hope to stop everything" but stressed that Britain had "faced down" terrorism for more than 40 years.

"The going is getting tougher but there are good reasons for confidence in our enduring ability to respond," he said.

MI5's latest estimate is that 600 Britons had left for Syria to join Islamic State militants.

Parliamentarian Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee, urged legislation to bolster the powers of the intelligence services to intercept communications "particularly international communications that might be relevant."

Chancellor George Osborne said extra money had gone into monitoring "these self-starting terrorists who get their ideas off the internet and then want to perpetrate horrendous crimes."

He added: "We'll put the resources in, whatever the security services need they will get because they do a heroic job on our behalf."

(Via Twitter, HuffPostUK Pictures)

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