Skip to comments.Potential terrorists may be UK citizens
Posted on 01/05/2004 9:57:07 AM PST by knighthawk
The latest terror alert comes amid anxiety that al-Qaeda may have recruited terrorists who hold UK, US or European passports and that they could have slipped through border or airport controls without arousing suspicion. Several hundred Britons travelled to Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden had extensive training camps in the 1990s, and many slipped back into Britain. Last February hundreds of police, backed by soldiers and light tanks, flooded Heathrow after intelligence revealed a plan to bring down an aircraft.
The cases of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber caught on a transatlantic flight two years ago, and of the two Britons involved in suicide bombings in Israel last summer have alerted police and MI5 to the possibility that radical Islamic groups can successfully recruit in Britain. There are also big Muslim populations in France, and Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian terrorist suspects have been found using French identity papers.
Scotland Yard had once believed that al-Qaeda used Britain as a base for organising finances and back-up for operations, but last month police counter-terrorist experts said al-Qaeda and its allies had started to see the United Kingdom as a base for operations.
They believe the threat comes also from other Muslim fundamentalist groups.
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