Britain to spend extra $1.6billion monitoring global terror groups

The prime minister has stressed the increasing danger to Britain of Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism

Published: Updated:
Enable Read mode
100% Font Size

Prime Minister David Cameron revealed plans on Monday to supplement British special forces with an extra $1.6 billion to expand their surveillance and intelligence capabilities.

Cameron has warned of a threat to the UK by militant groups operating in Iraq and Syria.


He told parliament he would “disagree with those people who think this is nothing to do with us,” adding that an “extreme Islamist regime in the middle of Iraq” would “affect us.”

Cameron said: “The people in that regime, as well as trying to take territory, are planning to attack…the UK. So the right answer is to be long-term, hard-headed, patient and intelligent.”

He said this strategy should apply not just in Iraq, but in Syria, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali, otherwise “these problems will come back and hit us at home.”

Cameron will emphasize the significance of drones and special forces when he unveils equipment at the Farnborough Airshow this weekend, The Times reported.

“Having modern, technologically advanced and flexible armed forces to protect us and our interests is vital,” he will say.

Former SAS commander Lt. Col. Richard Williams applauded the development, telling The Times: “The investment made sense because surveillance and special operations countered global threats better than the conventional military.”

An SAS team has already been dispatched to Baghdad following advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

A defense review is due next year, in which it is expected that Britain’s intelligence-gathering and special forces capabilities will be bolstered at the expense of the regular army, navy and air force.

“What it might signal is in the next defense review this trend will continue, and the equipment programs for the three traditional services will suffer,” Williams said.

According to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence, under Cameron’s proposal an additional £800 million ($1.369 billion) will be devoted to surveillance, armed drones and other equipment, The Times reported.

It will allow special forces to continue using Shadow surveillance aircraft for undercover operations.

An extra £300 million ($513 million) will be spent on new E-Scan radar for the Typhoon fighter plane, and the acquisition of the HMS Protector, an ice patrol ship.

Top Content Trending