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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 10:22 GMT
In Quotes: Terror alarm reaction
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Terror plots are currently being tracked by the UK security forces
The warning given by Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of the security service, over the number of terror plots being tracked in the UK, has divided opinion.

She has revealed that MI5 knows of 30 terror plots threatening Britain and is keeping 1,600 individuals under surveillance.

DAME PAULINE NEVILLE-JONES, FORMER CHAIR OF THE JOINT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

"If I were in her shoes I think that I would want the citizenry of this country to have some understanding of the security situation that we face.

"I think the days are long gone and I think welcomely long gone, when it was right for government to say 'You can rest secure, government knows what it's doing, we will keep you safe and don't bother your little heads'.

"We can't rest secured. We are sufficiently vulnerable, she knows that she can't necessarily guarantee always to intercept, and therefore I think the right thing is to let us know what she considers the situation to be."

Dame Pauline said that Dame Eliza was indicating what she believed was an issue that needs to be tackled partly by government and partly by "society as a whole".

"It's very, very important we don't treat the roots of this issue as being something where it's for the Muslim communities - and they are plural - to conform themselves somehow to a settled community that has its own ideas," Dame Pauline said.

"We've got to do this together."

SALLY LIEVESLEY, EXPERT ON TERRORISM AND PUBLIC PROTECTION

"What we're being told is that there are 200 groups of mass killers hidden throughout the UK, and that means it's absolutely essential that the public assist and that they understand, I think in the text of what has just been repeated to us, that no matter how good government or security services are, without the help of the public, these plots will get through.

"In the best of organised countries and counter-terror operations, even 10% per cent do get through, regardless of how good we are at stopping them."

ANN TAYLOR, LABOUR MP AND FORMER CHAIR OF THE PARLIAMENTARY INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE

"I think she was keen that the public should be aware of the threat levels, the nature of the threat, the scale of the threat and wanting the public on board.

"Not to panic the public, not to alarm them, but to make sure that when measures such as extra security at airlines are introduced, people have an understanding that there are real reasons for taking actions of that kind."

IHTISHAM HIBATULLAH OF THE BRITISH MUSLIM INITIATIVE

Ihtisham Hibatullah said he was concerned about the stigmatisation of the whole Muslim community following Dame Eliza's claim that 200 groups were involved in plotting.

He said doing so was "completely unfair and unjust against the whole Muslim community" and accused the government and security services of "dragging the Muslim community along in such a way where it creates more hatred towards the community and Islam."

"For the government to accuse 200 organisations and more than a thousand individuals in the community with plotting to endanger the country's security implies that the whole of the Muslim community is under suspicion, which is completely unacceptable.

"The Muslim community is working with all faith groups and different spectrums of the community to form an alliance to create an atmosphere of dialogue."

INAYAT BANGLAWALA, ASSISTANT SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN

"Of the 30 plots that Dame Eliza mentioned, just how serious these are we will not know until of course these people are picked up and brought before courts of law.

"As far as we're concerned, at the Muslim Council of Britain, we have always stated that British Muslims have a responsibility as well as others to co-operate fully with the security services to thwart such plots.

"She did make a good point in that whereas the security services have a responsibility to try and thwart terror plots it cannot be expected that the security services deal with why young people are being radicalised.

"That is a wider societal issue."




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