London, Feb 4(ANI): The MI6 believes that Britain faces a "unique" threat from home-grown terrorists who are not on the intelligence services' "radar", according to classified US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
In April 2008, a delegation of US Congressmen flew to London for a secret briefing with MI6 on security threats to the West.
During the meeting, a senior MI6 officer told the Congressional delegation that the UK faced simultaneous threats both from terrorists abroad and "internal home-grown" jihadists, such as those involved in the July 7, 2005, London bombings.
This, the officer said, made the UK's situation "uniquely challenging", according to the US Embassy's secret record of the meeting.
"Moreover, the internal threat is growing more dangerous because some extremists are conducting non-lethal training without ever leaving the country," the Telegraph quoted the cable, as saying.
"Should these extremists then decide to become suicide operatives, HMG [Her Majesty's Government] intelligence resources, eavesdropping and surveillance would be hard pressed to find them on any 'radar screen'. [The officer] described this as a 'generational' problem that will not go away anytime soon," the cable added.
The leaked documents also highlight Washington's concern that the British intelligence services are struggling to combat Muslim extremists because of budget cuts and a wave of lawsuits from terror suspects.
"The FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] is among the ministries experiencing severe budget shortfalls. Exchange rate fluctuations in particular are causing severe cuts to FCO programs, causing a loss of about 13 million pounds from an initial allotment of 39 million pounds just from the FCO's CT [counter-terrorism] budget," an October 2009 cable stated.
"Legal actions by suspects in terrorist cases are also having a severe effect on what counter-terrorism tools are available to the UK authorities," it added. (ANI)