Expert Says Londoners Are Less Safe Than One Year Ago

By Brian Ross And Maddy Sauer

Jul 6, 2006 9:17am

A top anti-terrorism expert says the people of London are less secure today than they were on July 7 of last year. Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the bombings that Londoners refer to as their 9/11. "I think they are less secure because a threshold was crossed," said Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the International Policy Institute at King’s College in London. "This was a shocking attack by young men who did not have about them anything like a profile of suicide terrorists or indiscriminate bombers," said Clarke. Professor Clarke credits the British police and security services with doing a good job despite limited manpower, but he says that last year’s attacks may actually have stimulated other radical Islamists in the U.K. to plan their own plots. "The threat we face is a mixture of the professional and the amateur, the hare-brained and the dangerous, and the police have to spend as much time on the amateurs as they do on the professionals," said Clarke. London authorities have had a busy year trying to keep up with the incoming threats. The anti-terror branch of the Metropolitan Police have around 70 current investigations that span the globe, according to Peter Clarke, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner. "We believe that since July last year we have disrupted three, and probably four, attack plans in the U.K.," Peter Clarke said earlier this week. Sixty individuals are now awaiting trial in the U.K. for terror-related charges. Still, Professor Clarke fears the police may not be able to stop every plot. "Sooner or later," he said, "either an amateur group or a professional group will hit it lucky."

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