London: Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) sniper teams have been trained to stop a speeding vehicle by shooting through the engine block with armour-piercing bullets in the event of a Nice-style attack, a report said today. British police fear that Islamic State (ISIS) sympathisers in the UK may attempt a copycat attack on the lines of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s killing of over 80 people by driving an armed lorry through crowds in the French beach town last week.
‘The Sunday Times’ report claims that SAS snipers have already trained to deal with a similar situation in the UK. “Every terrorist incident that happens worldwide we look at to see what the latest tactics and methodology are, and we think about whether that could happen here,” Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan police who is in charge of the UK’s protective security, told the newspaper.
Basu said that all police forces have been asked to review security at large events over the next week, but there are concerns about other big public gatherings later in the year and in the longer term. British police and security services have become more concerned about a possible attack since May this year, when Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a senior ISIS figure, told supporters in the West that civilians and crowds are legitimate targets.
Al-Adnani, the group’s chief spokesman and head of external attack planning in Syria, said “Know that inside the lands of the belligerent crusaders there is no sanctity of blood and no existence of those so-called innocents”.
“Know that your targeting (of) those who are called ‘civilians’ is more beloved to us and more effective, as it is more harmful and painful and a greater deterrent to them. So go forth!,” he had said.
Police believe that extremists who have been thwarted in their efforts to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq are among those Britons who pose the greatest danger. Policing levels are expected to be upgraded at major events across the UK in the coming months.