Britain trains firearms police for Mumbai-style attack

15th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Tuesday it was training extra firearms police amid growing fears of a "Mumbai-style" terror attack.

"We are working to prepare for any terrorist incident including a Mumbai-style attack in the UK," said Security Minister Pauline Neville-Jones.

The government is "training more police officers to respond to an armed attack and enhancing existing levels of firearms training," she added during a conference at the Royal United Services Institute in central London.

Government ministers were also involved in "very testing" training exercises to help them to respond to such an attack, Neville-Jones said.

In September, it was revealed that Western intelligence agencies had uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to launch attacks in Britain, France and Germany by Pakistan-based extremists.

The BBC reported that commando-style teams of militants planned to seize Western hostages and murder them, in a manner similar to the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

In the assault on India's business capital, 10 gunmen killed 166 people and injured more than 300 in three luxury hotels, a railway station and restaurants.

Neville-Jones stressed that Britain faced a "serious and sustained threat from terrorism -- a threat which is evolving."

She said there was now an "unpredictable threat from 'self-starting' individuals," pointing to the attempted murder last year of a lawmaker by a woman angered by his decision to back the Iraq war.

Al-Qaeda may have been weakened in recent years, but the terror group "still aspires to launch mass casualty attacks against the West, and we must not underestimate its capacity to adapt," she warned.

© 2011 AFP

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