UK announces ‘substantial’ anti-terror funding boosts for MI6, MI5 & GCHQ
The British government will “substantially increase efforts” to fight terrorists in the wake of the growing Islamic State threat. Besides 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff, Downing Street aviation security funding will be “at least” doubled.
“In the wake of the increasing number of Islamist terror plots against Britain and the attacks in Belgium, France, Tunisia and elsewhere, the Prime Minister has decided to boost resources,” a statement on Monday from the PM's Office said, announcing the increase on security spending, believed to be the biggest since the July 2005 terror attacks in London.
The extra funding will be allocated to 1,900 security and intelligence staff to add to the current 12,700 people employed by UK’s intelligence agencies MI6, MI5, and GCHQ.
“Our intelligence agencies work round the clock behind the scenes and as the threat has grown so they too have risen to the challenge,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said, as quoted in the statement. “This is a generational struggle that demands we provide more manpower to combat those who would destroy us and our values,” he added.
Plans for “at least a doubling of funding for aviation security around the world” have also been unveiled, with government spending to be raised to some £18 million ($27 million) a year. Additional security officers will be deployed at overseas airports, while more money will also be spent on research into screening technology “to detect new threats,” as well as on personnel training and security equipment at airports “in vulnerable countries.”
The decision to focus more effort into aviation security was made following the crash of a Russian plane bound for St. Petersburg over Egypt last month, which killed all 224 people on board.
“We believe [the passenger aircraft] was brought down by a bomb and that there is a significant possibility that ISIL [Islamic State] were behind it,” the Downing Street statement said, adding that the Prime Minister is expected to talk about aviation security with other leaders at the G20 summit in Turkey, which will include a bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin.