UK public 'disturbingly complacent' on terrorism
Intelligence committee chief Malcolm Rifkind warns of terrorists with ‘devilish technical skill’
The British public has grown complacent over the risk of a terrorist attack, says Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
Describing the public’s lack of vigilance as “seriously disturbing”, the former foreign secretary warned that Britain faces a new threat from jihadi bomb makers with “devilish technical skill”.
His comments come after the intelligence watchdog warned that bomb makers can conceal explosive devices in mobile phones and tablet computers.
Rifkind, who received a secret intelligence briefing on new transatlantic airline bomb plots, says he has “no doubt” that extra security searches at airports are necessary.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph on the eve of the anniversary of the July 7 London bombings, he argued: “We must not underestimate the devilish technical skill of those terrorists who design ever more sophisticated means of concealing explosives in mobile devices, in clothing and in otherwise innocent objects. They have been hard at work over the last year.”
Other experts are echoing Rifkind’s sentiments. The government’s former reviewer of terror legislation Lord Carlile tells the same newspaper that Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham [Isis] now have funding on a par with a “large multinational corporation”.
The former head of Britain’s special forces, Lt Gen Sir Graeme Lamb, added that it is imperative that the government begins funding “novel science and security technologies” to combat ever more sophisticated bomb-making capabilities. ·