James Forsyth

The US is so worried about the UK terrorist threat that the CIA has set up its own spying network in this country 

The US is so worried about the UK terrorist threat that the CIA has set up its own spying network in this country 
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Tim Shipman has an important story in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph. Here’s the start of it:

“American spy chiefs have told the President that the CIA has launched a vast spying operation in the UK to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks being launched from Britain.

They believe that a British-born Pakistani extremist entering the US under the visa waiver programme is the most likely source of another terrorist spectacular on American soil.

Intelligence briefings for Mr Obama have detailed a dramatic escalation in American espionage in Britain, where the CIA has recruited record numbers of informants in the Pakistani community to monitor the 2,000 terrorist suspects identified by MI5, the British security service.

A British intelligence source revealed that a staggering four out of 10 CIA operations designed to thwart direct attacks on the US are now conducted against targets in Britain.”

Shipman goes on to quote a British official saying that "Around 40 per cent of CIA activity on homeland threats is now in the UK. This is quite unprecedented."

Britain has already exported several terrorists who have launched attacks in other countries. The more this happens, the more it is going to harm Britain’s relations with other states: just imagine if those initial reports about those responsible for the Mumbai atrocities being British had turned out to be true.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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