NEWS: Viewing terrorism with a sense of proportion

Al-Qaeda ‘only one of many’ major security threats to UK

Britian’s outgoing intelligence chief believes there is a danger of exaggerating the threat posed by al-Qaeda at the expense of equally significant security issues, such as global warming.

Sir Richard Mottram, who has just stood down as Permanent Secretary in charge of Intelligence Security and Resilience, the body that advises the Prime Minister on the country’s response to emergencies, will use a lecture this week to call for individual citizens to play a new role in combating the risks associated with increasing globalisation.

Mottram, a career civil servant who, as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was responsible for evaluating the security threats posed to Britain, said there needed to be a ‘cultural shift’ to ensure the public played a broader role in making the country safe.

There was a danger, he said, of over-emphasising the spectre of international terrorism, which could play to al-Qaeda’s advantage and divide communities. [complete article]

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