British anti-terror drills to study Paris attacks

12th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

Britain will seek to learn from last week's attacks in Paris as part of future security exercises, the government said after Prime Minister David Cameron met security and intelligence chiefs Monday.

The meeting included discussion of what Britain would do in the event of a "multiple firearms attack in more than one location", as happened both in Paris last week and in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, Cameron's spokesman said.

"The relevant police and agencies regularly carry out exercises to test their response to a terror attack, including scenarios similar to the incidents in Paris," the government said in a statement.

"The meeting agreed that for future exercises, the relevant agencies should identify whether there are any further specific elements of the Paris attack that should be built into the exercise scenarios," it added.

Britain's terrorism threat level is currently at severe, the second-highest of five, meaning an attack is thought to be highly likely.

Cameron was among the world leaders who attended a unity march along with more than 1.5 million people in Paris Sunday in the wake of the attacks in and around the French capital in which 17 people and three gunmen were killed.

"One of the things that you want to do is to see whether there are any specific lessons that can be learnt from what we have sadly witnessed in Paris," the prime minister's official spokesman told reporters.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Cameron on Monday restated his desire to pass new legislatito toughen powers to monitor Internet and mobile phone calls.

But the proposals, dubbed a "Snooper's Charter" by critics, have been blocked by his coalition government partners, the Liberal Democrats.

Meanwhile the head of London's Metropolitan Police met the French Ambassador to Britain, Sylvie Bermann, to discuss security co-operation in a pre-planned meeting.

Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "The MPS has worked with the intelligence services to foil several plots in London over the last few months, and I have said repeatedly that the drumbeat of terror has intensified.

It is thought that hundreds of young British Islamists have gone to fight for Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

© 2015 AFP

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