An ABC News report says U.S. officials learned of possible attacks on Glasgow and the Czech capital of Prague this summer, but failed to warn U.K. officials.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to be unimpressive according to the U.K.'s Telegraph via ABC News. The original ABC News report says U.S. officials learned of possible attacks on Glasgow and the Czech capital of Prague this summer, but failed to warn U.K. officials. The original law enforcement report that warned of the attacks was prepared for DHS.Telegraph reports:
The unnamed official said the information received was "reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence we were getting in the summer of 2001," before the September 11 attacks on New York.
The warnings apparently were never passed on to officials in Scotland who said this weekend they had received "no advance intelligence" before attackers tried to drive a car bomb into a Glasgow airport building.
Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, declined to comment specifically on the report but said that America normally shared this kind of intelligence with Britain "virtually instantly".
But DHS wasn't the only one that may have dropped the ball.
U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that two of the eight suspects appeared beforehand on MI-5's radar. MI-5 is the U.K.'s domestic intelligence agency. The paper notes:
Two of the suspects had previously come to the attention of MI5 in connection with terror inquiries.
They were regarded as "low priority," however, and sources said there was no reason to suspect they were planning atrocities.
M15 is currently monitoring 30 terror plots involving more than 1,000 people.
A source said: "The security services are stretched to the absolute limit. Suspects are continually being risk assessed but nobody arrested over this latest plot had come up as being high priority."
More worrisome is the knowledge that jihadists are now taking advantage of the U.K.'s immigration policies where there is no security vetting for health care workers, says the paper.
Of the 240,000 or so doctors currently registered here, more than 6,000 originally qualified in the Middle East.
Almost a third - 1,985 - were trained in Iraq and another 184 came from Jordan.
There were also significant numbers from Syria (748), Sudan (565) and Iran (488) - all countries linked to extremism.
Security officials stress that the vast majority of these doctors are dedicated staff whose presence benefits Britain.
But they say the profession could provide cover for a radical few.