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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 21:11 GMT 22:11 UK
UK and US plan joint terror exercises
Armed police
The UK and US will share anti-terror know-how
The UK and US homeland security teams are to hold joint exercises as part of efforts to prevent simultaneous terror attacks on the two countries.

The joint work would include steps to avoid "cyber-electronic" attacks that could target British and American commerce, it was revealed during a joint UK-US press conference in Washington.

Flanked by the head of the US homeland security department, Tom Ridge, David Blunkett said that America and Britain were standing "shoulder to shoulder" to defeat terrorism.

"We will establish a joint working committee and contact group which will include officials from our department and the Department of Homeland Security," said the UK home secretary.

The two countries' homeland security teams would meet regularly to ensure that "best practice" was shared.

Modern methods

The home secretary said: "All of us know that we have never faced a threat like the one that has developed since the September 11 attack.

"The ways in which the UK and US are working together ensure not only that we face that threat in a better shape and in a way that allows us to understand that best practice, it means that we as partners - including in the conflict in Iraq - need to become more vigilant and more aware than others across the world believe is necessary for them."

Mr Blunkett said the joint exercises between the two countries would centre around counter-terrorism and protecting the public.

Modern terrorists were technologically advanced, used up-to-date methods and the security agencies of the US and UK had to be ahead of them.

That was a "major challenge" especially where terrorists were working in cells.




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David Blunkett MP, Home Secretary
"There is no threat from suicide bombers or others working alongside Iraqis"



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