Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 00:13 UK

Terrorism fight given 4m boost

police marching
The new money will enable the police to employ more counter terrorism staff

Almost 4m will be handed to Scotland's police forces over the next two years to combat terrorism, the Scottish Government has said.

The announcement comes almost a year after the alleged terror attack at Glasgow Airport.

The 3.8m will help create more than 50 counter terrorism jobs in Scotland.

However, the Scottish-Islamic Foundation cautioned against creating a "terror industry" which would need to find work to justify its existence.

Osama Saeed, chief cxecutive of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, said he was supportive of "any measures that are needed towards our safety".

But he added: "We'll be seeking assurances from the government and the police that these 50 posts are proportionate and necessary as there have already been issues around the level of questioning at airports and surveillance on the ordinary activities of young Muslims."

The aim of the new posts will be to make ports and airports more secure as well as enabling the police to raise awareness of terrorism in communities.

'Tackle this menace'

The Scottish Government is also working with the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland (Acpos) and other key agencies to develop a Scottish approach to preventing terrorism as part of the UK counter terrorism strategy Contest.

It will focus on areas such as improving communications and improving knowledge and understanding.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "As last year's attack at Glasgow Airport showed, terrorism respects no boundaries. Terrorism is a threat to all of our communities.

"We all need to work together to reduce the threat of another terrorist attack.

Glasgow Airport attack
Glasgow Airport was subject to an attack almost a year ago

"The Scottish Government is fully committed to the fight against terrorism and that is why we are equipping our police forces to tackle this menace.

"These additional counter terrorism officers will help to make our ports and airports more secure and allow the police to work with communities to raise awareness of terrorism and related issues to make Scotland a safer place.

"We will continue to work with other jurisdictions, south of the border and elsewhere to ensure the safety of all our citizens and that those who seek to disrupt our way of life to perpetrate terror are prosecuted for their crimes."

Counter terrorism is an element of National Security which is reserved to Westminster, but many aspects of prevention and management of the consequences are devolved.

Since 2003, Contest has been the UK framework for countering terrorism and the Scottish Government plays a prominent role in delivering the Contest strategy in Scotland.


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