View Full Version : Are the US and UK in the same boat when it comes to Terrorist threats?

05-30-2002, 11:09 AM
I was just wondering this after seeing the last OBL video, where he is asking Allah for this that and the other thing acceptenced into the after life, victory and all this other fanatical lunatic crap.
But he specifically mentions the UK as being an outside infidel. And just as guilty of crimes against 'them' as the US is.

What is the current terrorist threat level in the UK and is it similar to the US in threat advisories?

05-30-2002, 11:36 AM
Well, we have had terrorism here for some years now. We don't generally get 'threat advisories' or government warnings at all; most people in high-risk areas (army towns, cities) are fairly used to the precautions we've had for years. Go to London and see how many residents are surprised at the lack of litter bins in tube and rail stations. Go to Aldershot and see how many residents are surprised when there are GPMG-armed soldiers on the footbridges over main roads, or when they get stopped and searched on the MoD-owned roads into town on a Saturday night.

Most Brits I know aren't phased at all. We're not surprised at being terrorist targets, but it isn't new to us.

05-30-2002, 12:01 PM
Osama Bin Laden is not the only source of such threats. The protective measures that Crusoe describes in the UK are aimed primarily at threats from Irish extremists, who share few interests with OSL.

The USA has been surprisingly lucky until now in avoiding major threats on its mainland. Terrorist attacks on US people and installations have tended to happen abroad. Apart from the actual horror of 9/11, I think part of the ongoing shock for Americans was a loss of the belief that they were secure and isolated from the outside world.

Other countries do not have that sense of immunity from the outside world. Most experience some level of terrorist threat, at some time. It depends how many people you have managed to annoy or injure in the past, and how many crazy people you have in your population.

05-31-2002, 04:31 AM
Originally posted by Crusoe
...we have had terrorism here for some years now. We don't generally get 'threat advisories' or government warnings at all...

Yes, but the UK government does have different levels of alert which it uses to warn its own staff of likely dangers. That information is not secret. Without bothering to search around for it, my guess would be that this has been higher than normal (even allowing for any Irish terrorist threats) throughout the period since last September. I would also guess that it will be even higher over the next few days, partly because Bank Holiday weekends are always thought to increase the risk and partly because the Jubilee celebrations might make a particularly tempting, high-profile target.

05-31-2002, 06:13 AM
Yep, I agree the UK has been dealing with terrorism for 25-30 years now. While the IRA have been the obvious target a more sophisticated understanding would, IMHO, acknowledge that one reason why Middle-East organisations have quietly been allowed to establish themselves here (or rather the less radical wings of those organisations), is that it's easier to 'keep an eye on things' and to develop 'access'.

That might be electronic, classic surveillance or, more importantly, human intelligence.

An example of the latter might be the memo Bush got on the 9th of August from the CIA which was largely based on (albeit dated) British Intelligence gleaned from UK based Middle-East sources.

05-31-2002, 08:32 AM
Doesn't England have hundreds of those face-recognition cameras in place?


05-31-2002, 08:39 AM
So do we (USA) Lola... In places you would never imagine...gas stations...to name one.

Papermache Prince
05-31-2002, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by Phlosphr
So do we (USA) Lola... In places you would never imagine...gas stations...to name one.
Any cite for this? That is, not the general use of security cameras recording with video tape, but the use of "face recognition" cameras at gas stations in the United States. I find it hard to believe that the companies operating gas stations would spend hard cash for such systems. How would these companies benefit?