02/04/2003

Joint British/US anti-terror agency agreed

Britain and the US have agreed to establish a joint anti-terrorism agency, following a meeting between Home Office Minister David Blunkett and US officials in Washington yesterday.

Also on the agenda was the sharing of counter-terrorism intelligence, joint training exercises, infrastructure security, and science and technology.

The work of the joint agency will cover: closer working on the development of biometric technology, such as iris and facial recognition; pooling of knowledge and resources, such as vaccines, to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats; and strategies to prevent and deal with cyber/electronic attacks.

Following his meeting with David Blunkett, US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the UK had "extensive experience in battling the challenge of terrorism at home". Mr Ridge went on to describe the UK as "a critically important ally in bringing our attackers to justice".

Mr Blunkett said: "Today's agreement marks an unprecedented degree of co-operation between our two governments in the fight against international terrorism, building on the excellent co-operation we already have on security and intelligence issues.

"Today we have focused on how we can extend that spirit of friendship and co-operation in more practical ways. The closer we work together, the more difficult the terrorists' job becomes."

In establishing joint facilities, it is hoped the Anglo-US initiative will assist in dealing with the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear imports and "the danger that people are transferring the capability across the world".

(GMcG)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

24 September 2012
Britain To Establish Joint Embassies With Canada
Foreigh Secretary William Hague has announced that Britain and Cananda will establish joint diplomatic missions abroad. Mr Hague revealed details of this planned new co-operation as he meet his Canadian counterpart John Baird in Ottawa on Monday.
03 May 2012
Miller On Course To Become New Rangers Owner
Bill Miller is on course to become the new owner of Rangers after being granted preferred bidder status today by administrators Duff & Phelps. After weeks of negotiations and discussions, the administrators have announced that the hugely successful American businessman now has the opportunity to complete a purchase for the club.
29 June 2006
Union calls off Asda strike
A planned five-day strike by thousands of workers at Asda distribution depots has been called off. The announcement comes following talks between the supermarket and the GMB union over a long-running dispute over pay, health and safety and national bargaining.