Al-Qaeda in Pakistan still remains Britain's primary threat

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London, Oct 18 (ANI): The primary threat to Britain comes from al-Qaeda in Pakistan and its associates in Somalia, Yemen and North Africa, who continue to plan attacks against targets in the country, according to British National Security Strategy.

As Britain faces an increased threat from terrorism, cyber attack and small-scale wars, security and intelligence services and counter-terrorism police are to escape major cuts in this week's public spending review due to the threats.

The strategy is a key precursor for the Strategic Defence and Security Review, to be published tomorrow, which will explain how Britain will defend itself against such attacks.

Britain is unprepared for a Mumbai-style attack and is still fighting the cold war, The Telegraph reports

"The security strategy will look at the issues we are going to face in coming years and the spending review will look at how to deliver that," one source said. The security strategy is expected to outline four key threats to Britain.

The primary threat remains al-Qaeda. That is likely to mean that MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command will escape the worst of the cuts, the paper said.

While not naming individual states, GCHQ, which is responsible for cyber defence, has been concerned for some time that states such as China and Russia are unlikely to use conventional or nuclear weapons in an attack on Britain, it added.

A third risk that will be highlighted is the threat of small-scale wars in foreign countries that may escalate out of control.

The fourth element will be the risk from natural disasters such as pandemic flu, where strategies have been developed over recent years. (ANI)

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