UK 'must plan for lone terrorists'

Ealing Times: Home Secretary Theresa May has asked the police and other emergency services 'to make further improvements to the joint response' Home Secretary Theresa May has asked the police and other emergency services 'to make further improvements to the joint response'

The emergency services must be better prepared to tackle a lone gunman or Mumbai-style attack on the streets of Britain, ministers will say.

Fast-moving terror attacks by lone gunmen, such as those seen in Norway and Toulouse, are among the major incidents the UK must be prepared for, Security Minister James Brokenshire will say.

Home Secretary Theresa May has asked the police and other emergency services "to make further improvements to the joint response".

"Staying ahead of the threat means ensuring our emergency response is capable of dealing with the threat in whatever form it takes," Mr Brokenshire will say.

Changing tactics have allowed terrorists to "achieve a devastating effect using relatively unsophisticated means", he will go on.

"The experiences in Toulouse and in Norway demonstrate the impact that a lone individual can have if sufficiently motivated, while the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai were characterised by an ongoing firearms and explosives attack, and by hostage-taking.

"So we are improving the way the emergency services work together in response to a major incident."

Lone individuals sympathetic to al Qaida's cause were believed to be one of the major concerns being considered by the security services and police in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

Mohamed Merah, who said he had links with al Qaida, killed seven people in France's worst terror attacks in years near Toulouse in March, while Anders Breivik went on the rampage in Norway, killing 69 people in July last year. And in 2008, 166 people were killed in the Mumbai terror attacks.

Giving a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) in central London, Mr Brokenshire will go on: "The overall aim is to ensure that the blue light services are trained and exercised to work together as effectively as possible in response to a major incident, including fast-moving terrorist scenarios, so that as many lives as possible can be saved."

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