Secret intel report: UK terror threat worst since 9/11

This will be on Drudge soon but there’s nothing much new here. MI5 described the extent of the problem back in November; the new report bumps the numbers up a bit, but once you’re talking about 200 separate cells, what’s a few more? Besides, they’ve been at red alert for weeks now. No one’s under any illusions about the situation.

Still, the British papers like to lead the Sunday editions with terror stuff, so it’s time for the periodic Saturday night freakout.

The number of British-based Islamic terrorists plotting suicide attacks against “soft” targets in this country is far greater than the Security Services had previously believed, the government paperwork discloses. It is thought the plotters could number more than 2,000…

MI5 believes that soft targets, such as the transport system and economic targets such as the City of London and Canary Wharf, are most at risk…

Entitled Extremist Threat Assessment, the document, which was drawn up this month, also discloses that Afghanistan, where more than 7,000 British troops will be based by the end of May, is expected to supersede Iraq as the location for terrorists planning Jihad against the West.

It says that al-Qaeda’s influence extends from North Africa, including Egypt, through to Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, and into Somalia and Sudan. Al-Qaeda is “resilient and effective” in Iraq, its “operating environment and financial position” in Pakistan has improved and a new group had emerged in Yemen…

Dr Jonathan Eyal, the director of international security at the Royal United Services Institute, said that the al-Qaeda revival was down to the West’s inability to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and that wars in Afghanistan and Iraq made matters worse.

Errr…

Exit question must-read of the day: Bill Roggio on the latest Musharraf “peace” initiative. You want to know why the problem’s so bad in Britain and getting worse? Because AQ has its own country now, where it’s free to train British Muslims who’ve come to Pakistan to “visit their relatives.” Go, go, go.