Britain will recruit 2,000 new spies and funding for airport security will be doubled in the wake of the atrocious terror attacks that struck Paris on Friday, leaving 132 people dead.
The increase in manpower and spending was confirmed today by Prime Minister David Cameron, and he also echoed claims made last month that seven terror attacks on the UK had been foiled in the past six months.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Cameron said:
We have been aware of these cells operating in Syria that are radicalising people in our own countries, potentially sending people back to carry out attacks.
Our security and intelligence services have stopped something like seven attacks in the last six months, albeit attacks planned on a smaller scale. That is one of the reasons we are strengthening the security services with this announcement today.”
The increase in resource for security agencies will see the number of intelligence staff across MI5, MI6 and GCHQ raised from about 12,700 to 14,600.
The Conservative party leader also suggested the ‘snooper’s charter’ would be pushed through parliament quicker, as agencies need to utilise the extra powers outlined in the Investigatory Powers Bill to defeat the ‘disease’ of radical Islam.
This disease of Islamist extremist violence, this perversion of the religion, of the religion of Islam that is being carried out by this minority of a minority as it were, this is a challenge we are going to have to face with everything we have got.
Now that means investing in the hard power of our military, because that can be important, it means boosting our counter-terrorism capabilities, and we should think absolutely, the bill we are taking through parliament to strengthen our capabilities to intercept the communications of terrorists is a vital part of this fight…
Remember this is about maintaining our capabilities and putting everything on a very clear statutory footing.”
The fear following the attacks is understandable, but it also raises a very important debate.