Former MI6 Head: Don't Rule Out Nuclear Terrorism In Britain
London Telegraph | November 3 2005
By Joshua Rozenberg
The suicide bombings in London on July 7 were not the worst attacks that we could expect in Britain, according to the former head of MI6.
Sir Richard Dearlove, who retired last year as head of the Secret Intelligence Service, said chemical, biological and genetic terrorism was in prospect and a nuclear attack could not be ruled out.
Acknowledging that the July bombings had been "very lethal", he said they did not amount to a "strategic terrorist event".
Sir Richard, who was taking part in a debate on terrorism arranged by the City law firm Ashurst, said the July attacks "bore the characteristic of a locally planned and carried-out event".
However we probably had to conclude that "the clock is running on some much more dreadful events that could occur".
In the medium to long term, terrorists would have access through the internet to "some quite frightening dual-use technologies," he said.
These had not yet been used in the context of terrorism, but Sir Richard thought that they would probably eventually be used.
"There is no question that bits of al-Qa'eda would have been extremely interested in biological weapons technology, chemical weapons technology, radiological devices and, ultimately, nuclear devices."
Sir Richard expressed "some sympathy" for the Government's approach to fighting terrorism through legislation, adding that there was "extensive complacency" in Britain about the nature of the terrorist threat
Last modified November 3, 2005