How prepared is the UK for future attack?
Leading experts on terrorism and political violence have completed a 2-year project on how prepared the UK is for future attack. The project looked at the strength of policies made since 9/11 in preventing, pre-empting and preparing for terrorist attacks.
A key aim of the project, led by the Universities of St Andrews and Southampton was to investigate how increased security has affected civil liberties and to demonstrate how both society and freedom can be protected in the 21st century.
The key findings include that while improved intelligence has helped prevent an Al Qaeda attack, there is still a ‘major question mark’ over whether the country is adequately resourced to deal with an emergency situation, particularly in major cities other than London. The study also confirmed that while the UK faces a ‘real and serious’ threat of terrorist attack by Al Qaeda, it is better prepared for an attack that other EU member states.
The ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funded project involved experts from Government, law enforcement agencies and the private sector. The results will be announced this week at seminars in Edinburgh and London.
Project Director, Professor Paul Wilkinson, Chairman of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews, said:
“We have argued that whether the weapons used by the terrorists are conventional, or an adaptation in the use of a terrorist tactic (e.g. suicide hijacking) or involve the use of CBRN materials, the domestic management of terrorist attacks involves a strategy aimed at deterring and preventing an attack … and is not only concerned with the mitigation of the consequences of an actual attack”.
A full-length version of the study is due to be published later this year by Taylor and Francis under the title UK Homeland Security: The UK’s Preparedness for Future Terrorist Attack.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
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