British intelligence officials believe that al-Qaida is determined to attack the UK with a nuclear weapon, it emerged yesterday. The announcement, from an officially organised Foreign Office counter-terrorism briefing for the media, was the latest in a series of bleak assessments by senior officials and ministers about the terrorist threat facing Britain. UK officials have detected “an awful lot of chatter” on jihadi websites expressing the desire to acquire chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. Asked whether there was any doubt that al-Qaida was trying to gain the technology to attack the west, including the UK, with a nuclear weapon, a senior Foreign Office counter-terrorism official said: “No doubt at all.” The official explained: “We know the aspiration is there, we know the attempt to get material is there, we know the attempt to get technology is there.
Yes, yes, that’s all vague stuff, and aspiration is not the same as reality, but there’s nothing particularly vague about this:
British counter terrorism officials believe plots they have thwarted and plots they claim are being hatched have strong links to Pakistan. They say hundreds of Britons travelled in the past year to Pakistan for terrorism activity, including training in camps and acting as couriers for messages. Officials also believe Britons are taking cash to terrorists in Pakistan.