UK public 'disturbingly complacent' on terrorism

Jul 6, 2014

Intelligence committee chief Malcolm Rifkind warns of terrorists with ‘devilish technical skill’

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

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.

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Spooks scare pollies in quest for more funding. duhhhh

It is not the public that have become complacent over terrorism it is the government that keeps letting in all and sundry from around the word and particularly from the Middle East. The Islamists are coming in with the intention of taking over and yet the government refuse to see what is happening under their noses. We should, at least temporarily, put a stop to all immigrants from the Middle East. Sounds fanatical? Okay it does but it will come unless something is done now. Remember Enoch Powell and his streets of blood.

Ian Newton
It is nice to read Tegwyn Hills comments and I agree Totally. most the people I know have been saying the same for ages. So all you politicians wake up and take note. Don't blame us, if you want to to find out where the problem starts then look in the mirror. This needs to be sorted now.

I'm sorry Mally, but what exactly do you expect us, the British public, to do?
- Are we all MI5 / MI6 agents?
- Are we all police officers, specially trained to combat terrorism?
- Have we all been given rigorous training in bomb disposal techniques?
No, of course not.
Whether you like it or not, Mally, the onus is actually on YOU and this useless, inept, so-called 'government' who I'd never even dream of voting for in a million years.
Oh, and just more thing before I go, I've just read a pop-up which reads - 'Home Office loses 114 Whitehall child sex files'. And it's us, who work hard to keep this country, and its economy going, who are being complacent.
Something about pots and kettles springs to mind here.

The risks of terrorism are blown out of all proportion in the interests of the security state and our political class's pathetic subservience to the US empire. Want to reduce the risks of terrorism? Stop invading other people's countries, stop supporting US state terrorism around the world - and as for little Rifkind? Oh please, are we expected to take this empty vessel seriously? What a waste of space he is.

Whatever does Rifkind expect ordinary people to do that would persuade him we are not complacent about being on an aeropane that somebody is aiming to blow up? But in an age of mass surveillance the security checks at airports to which we have had to become accustomed are a wildly inefficient way of targetting real potential perpetrators. The underpants and shoe bombers seem never to have been imitated. The 100ml limit in hand baggage is based on absurd speculation as far as anybody can tell.

First things first. So let's sign up to Schengen and cooperate with our allies in Europe on detecting who is really about to commit terrorist acts. We would all be a lot happier and safer. There is not one jot of evidence that the stricter controls by uniformed fascist-looking border police are having any beneficial effect or increasing the information held to useful purpose by the security torces. Rifkind may be right that the dangers are greater. But are the motives any different? Is it security that prevents some maniac setting off a dirty nuclear bomb in Lonfon? Or is it just that the technology is not quite as easy as the press stories years ago implied? Or are so-called "terrorists" more motivated by genuine political considerations and a sense of public relations than they are supposed to be if they are all a bunch or religious bigots as we are told?