30/04/2004

MI5 terrorist security advice published online

UK security service, MI5 have published advice regarding terrorist threat assessment and safety on the internet for the first time.

The information on the website had previously been confined mainly to government departments, but a new website will provide the details to the general public and businesses.

The site details information on how to prevent against Islamic and Northern Ireland-based terrorism. MI5 has stated that the main terrorist threat to the UK and to British interests overseas comes from al-Qaeda and associated groups and the security agency also confirmed that al-Qaeda cells and supporters of affiliated groups are known to be active in the UK.

The advice on the website includes general guidelines on reducing exposure to security threats and information about how to tackle specific risks, such as bombs and hackers. It also includes a top ten list of safety tips for businesses and other organisations, which include carrying out risk assessments, looking at mail-handling procedures and checking that staff are who they say they are.

The site also lists the methods of attack most likely to be used by international terrorists, with bombings being the most commonly used method by al-Qaeda. Shootings, kidnappings and abductions have also been used, say MI5, and while no such attacks have yet been used in the UK, al Qaeda may plan to use chemical, biological or radiological material in further attacks.

Businesses are also urged to protect information as terrorists are likely to try and get access to details that would be useful to them, by infiltrating organisations or getting help from an ‘insider’.

MI5 also lists Northern Ireland related terrorism, espionage and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as continuing threats to the UK.

Two sections of the website have also been translated into Arabic to “build on the co-operation of the Muslim community”, said MI5.

Additional language translations are expected to be added in due course.

(KmcA)

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