Select Committee on Defence Second Report


15. Terrorism is not a recent phenomenon. Its history has been traced back to the Sicarii of first century Palestine. Modern authorities have found parallels between current terrorist groups and the Assassins who emerged in eleventh century Persia.[19] Modern terrorism began to emerge in the late eighteenth century. The first reference in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1798. During the nineteenth century many of the forms of traditional terrorism, with which we were familiar in the twentieth century, were developed. Between 1880 and 1887 terrorists from Irish-American organisations based in the United States carried out a series of bombings in London and also attacked Glasgow and Liverpool.[20]

16. Even before 11 September a number of writers had raised the question of whether the new world order which followed the end of the Cold War had allowed, or even encouraged, the growth of a new form of terrorism which brought with it a new level of threat. An essay published in 2000 argued '...there really is something new in the modern world... in scientific parlance, the end of the bipolar order has caused the mutation of a host of organisations that used to be purely terrorist groups or purely criminal groups. ...we are now witnessing an almost biological, uncontrollable and thus far uncontrolled proliferation of dangerous complex entities that are very hard to identify, understand and define within inadequately explored territories or movements.'[21]

17. There is little doubt that the 11 September attacks were the responsibility of the al Qaeda organisation. On 4 October the Prime Minister told the House of Commons—

Since 11 September, intensive efforts have taken place here and elsewhere to investigate these attacks and to determine who is responsible. Our findings have been shared and coordinated with those of our allies and they are clear. They are: first, that it was Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda, the terrorist network which he heads, that planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September; secondly, that Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda were able to commit these atrocities because of their close alliance with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which allows them to operate with impunity in pursuing their terrorist activity.[22]

The Government placed a document in the Library containing as much of the evidence on which it had based its conclusions as it could make public. It supplemented that with a further document on14 November. The second document considerably reinforces the evidence of the first, and includes evidence linking the hijackers to al Qaeda as well as a series of increasingly self-incriminating statements by bin Laden himself. Dr Magnus Ranstorp, of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, St Andrew's University, who is one of the few specialists on radical Islamic movements and who has written extensively on al Qaeda, told us, 'I have no doubt whatsoever [that the attacks were perpetrated by the al Qaeda network]. There is no other suspect.'[23]

History of al Qaeda

18. Al Qaeda had its origins in the late 1980s in the Mujahedden campaign to expel the Soviet regime from Afghanistan—to purge the muslim nation of communist rule.[24] Osama bin Laden joined that struggle as a member of Maktab and Khidmet lil-mujahidin al-Arab (MaK), an organisation founded by Dr Abdullah Azzam, an influential figure widely regarded as the historical leader of Hamas. Bin Laden was considered to be Azzam's deputy. Azzam was assassinated in 1989, the same year that Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan. But the MaK continued its campaign against President Najibullah, the pro-communist leader of the regime left behind by the Soviet withdrawal. Kabul fell to the Mujahedden in April 1992. But the new government, which depended on a rotating presidency between the Mujahedden leaders, was inherently unstable and by 1994 Afghanistan had 'disintegrated into a patchwork of competing groups and shifting alliances'.[25]

19. Throughout their campaign against the Soviet occupation the Mujahedden groups (including MaK) had received substantial financial and military assistance from Arab states and from the United States.

20. It appears to have been the Gulf War of 1991 and its aftermath which turned Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda against the United States. Between 1989 and 1991 bin Laden was based in Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan. He was officially deported from Saudi Arabia in 1992 after he embarked on a campaign against the Saudi royal house for failing to ensure the departure of foreign (ie US) troops after the end of the Gulf War. In 1994 the Saudi government revoked his citizenship. Between 1991 and 1996 bin Laden was based in Khartoum, Sudan. In October 1996 bin Laden issued a fatwa declaring a 'jihad' (or holy war) against the United States and Israel and what he called the 'Zionist-Crusader alliance and their collaborators'.

21. Dr Ranstorp told us that 1996 to 1998 were critical years in the development of al Qaeda. He explained—

There has been an escalation since 1996 when he issued his declaration of war, and that has crystallized into a truly multinational enterprise with global tentacles and a global reach.[26]

Before the current military action began, the membership of al Qaeda in Afghanistan had been estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000. It has been claimed that al Qaeda support and operational cells have been identified in around 50 countries. Al Qaeda also has close links with other terrorist organisations. These include Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other north African Islamic extremist terrorist groups, and a number of other jihadi groups in other countries including the Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and India.[27] As Dr Ranstorp told us—

We are dealing with a tightly structured organisation at the top. It is also an umbrella organisation. It is less linked along organisational lines but rather [through] individuals within these constituent groups, beneath this umbrella.[28]

22. Al Qaeda's structure and international reach make it unique among terrorist organisations. There is no other group with a comparable multinational component.[29] In August this year Jane's Intelligence Review listed four principal elements that contributed to its strength and resilience. One of those—its base in Afghanistan—no longer applies. But the other three remain, to a greater or lesser extent, valid. Firstly it has become a symbol of resistance against western domination. Bin Laden's pan-Islamic credo draws support from both Arab and non-Arab muslims. In some parts of the Islamic world he is seen as the only leader who can stand up against the United States and its allies. Secondly it has established and maintained links at leadership and operational level with some of the largest and deadliest Middle Eastern and Arab terrorist groups. Bin Laden's own personal relationships with the leadership of these groups and his generosity with funds have helped to cement these links. Thirdly, al Qaeda has managed either directly or through individual sympathisers to infiltrate many international and domestic Islamic non-governmental organisations throughout the world. Thus the al Qaeda infrastructure finds camouflage in the religious and social fabric of muslim communities. There are also two other areas in which it may be seen as qualitatively and fundamentally different from what have been called 'traditional terrorists' of the late twentieth century: its objectives and its method of operation.

23. Professor Freedman told us that, put simply, al Qaeda's objective was to see 'the United States withdraw from the Middle East and ... play no further part in the politics of the Middle East'.[30] Bin Laden is reported to have stated, on 7 October 2001, 'I swear to God that America will not live in peace before peace reigns in Palestine, and before the army of the infidels depart the land of Mohammed'. He has called for the overthrow of those Arab governments which allow US troops on their soil, accusing them of betraying 'true' Islam, and for the establishment of a pan-Islamic Caliphate to unite all the muslim world. He has also claimed to be acting to revenge the deaths of Iraqis, and specifically Iraqi children, caused by the military action of America and its allies and the subsequent international sanctions against that country.[31] The government, in its document on 14 November stated—

Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been engaged in a jihad against the United States and its allies. One of their stated aims is the murder of US citizens and attacks on America's allies.[32]

Since the 11 September attacks bin Laden has also stated 'our enemy is every American male, whether he is directly fighting us or paying taxes.'[33] In various broadcasts and interviews, he has also sought to represent his actions as part of a global struggle between the Islamic and western worlds. Professor Freedman characterised al Qaeda's philosophy as fundamentally 'anti-modernist, anti-secularist' and thus quite different from traditional Arab radicalism and many other Arab terrorist groups.[34]

24. In other words al Qaeda's objectives are not rooted in a particular political context, rather they accrete individual conflicts to bolster a fundamentalist anti-Western credo. Al Qaeda attempts to pull these elements together under what it claims to be a campaign for a political expression of fundamentalist Islamic principles. But its actions are contrary to the tenets of Islam. As the Prime Minister told the House—

To kill as those terrorists did is utterly foreign to all the teachings of the Koran, and to justify it by saying that such murder of the innocent is doing the will of God is to defame the good name of Islam.[35]

In practice, al Qaeda's objectives are not only grandiose and extreme, but also incoherent and incapable of forming the basis of any rational dialogue. They are non-negotiable.

25. Insofar as there are historic parallels, they are, it has been argued, not with the terrorist groups of the late twentieth century, most of which (like the IRA, ETA, various Latin American groups and many others) had clearly defined political objectives which might in theory provide a basis for negotiation, but rather with the anarchists of the nineteenth century whose purpose was to overthrow the existing order. They believed that they could do this by promoting its disintegration from within through acts of violence and terror. An important distinction even with these anarchist groups, however, is that they were largely acting within the societies which they were seeking to change. The scale of their action and the targets they chose may have been moderated by the desire not to alienate the population at large, and particularly the working classes whose interests they were ostensibly advancing. But al Qaeda has no such concerns. Its operations are directed against what it perceives to be an external enemy. As bin Laden stated in his video of 20 October: 'The battle has been moved inside America ... The bad terror is what America and Israel are practising against our people ... what we are practising is the good terror that will stop them doing what they are doing.'[36]

26. Professor Freedman drew attention to the axiom 'terrorists want people watching, not dead',[37] which had led people to assume that terrorists were not, by and large, interested in causing mass casualties. Rather 'they had clear political aims that required terror, anxiety, a constant background of insecurity, but did not want to create such a political crisis by killing so many people'. But, we were told, this assumption does not apply to al Qaeda. '... these terrorists are not after chaos, they are after death'.[38] Certainly they seem to believe that their objectives can be advanced by inflicting mass casualties. But they also seemed to be fully aware of the potential impact of television coverage of their atrocities. Their record demonstrates a determination to kill large numbers of people—and have the world watching.

27. They do not discriminate between the agents of the powers they oppose (political leaders, members of the armed forces) and the innocent civilians who happen to live in these countries. Bin Laden is reported to have claimed that the killing of muslims in the attacks on the World Trade Center was justified because by choosing to live and work in the United States they had associated themselves with the enemy.

28. The callousness and ruthlessness of this approach is further emphasised by the fact that no warnings have been given for terrorist attacks attributed to al Qaeda. This is powerful additional evidence that while al Qaeda's targets have symbolic importance in political and commercial terms, its intention is also to cause the maximum level of casualties. Neither has there been any subsequent claim of responsibility, although, as the Government have set out, in the case of the 11 September attacks there have been clear expressions of support for the attacks and no efforts at denial.

29. Another notable feature of the 11 September attacks was the apparent willingness of the perpetrators to kill themselves as well as their victims. We say 'apparent' only because the subsequent investigations have reportedly thrown up doubts over whether all the hijackers knew that they were to die. The Secretary of State told us, 'There is some evidence... that not all of the terrorists on board those aircraft on 11 September were aware of what the leading elements were going to engage on'.[39] He suggested that the fact that only some of those involved left notes prefiguring their deaths was part of that evidence.[40] Nonetheless, al Qaeda's ability to recruit people willing to give up their lives is striking. And in this case more so because those involved were apparently well-educated and certainly capable of learning the basic skills required to fly a modern passenger jet. In the past, for example in the context of the Palestinian conflict, suicide bombers have been recruited overwhelmingly from the ranks of the ill-educated and dispossessed. A study of terrorism published in 1999 analysed the suicide missions conducted by members of Hizbullah and Hamas. It concluded that 'virtually all the suicide bombers came from poor families, and of these there is a preponderance of candidates who live in refugee camps in miserable conditions.'[41]

30. These characteristics set the perpetrators of the attacks of 11 September apart from what has been described as traditional terrorism, yet the attacks were not entirely without precedent in their conception or execution. In the 1990s there were terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, US military accommodation at Al -Khoba in Saudi Arabia, US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, and in 2000 on the US warship USS Cole. There was also a series of bombings in Moscow and one in Volgadonsk between August 1999 and August 2000 which killed several hundred people. The attacks outside Russia were committed by al Qaeda or militant Islamist groups with links to al Qaeda. The Russian attacks were ascribed by the Russian government to Chechen rebels. There is substantial evidence of close links between al Qaeda and Chechen rebel groups.

31. One of the most powerful terrorist links remains that between al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement for Uzbekistan (IMU).[42] The IMU came into existence in 1997, after the defeat of the drug-smuggling warlords in Tajikistan. The IMU quickly became a direct ally of Osama bin Laden and has engaged not only in extensive narcotics trading in Central Asia but is also pledged to terrorist attacks in the cause of militant Islam. The IMU is, in effect, a direct regional branch of al Qaeda, operating for both criminal and terrorist purposes in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Southern Russia.[43]

32. So, in terms of organisation, of reach and of ambition, al Qaeda represents a major development in terrorism, but not an entirely new development. '... al Qaeda has taken a long time to develop'.[44] It has drawn on the experiences of other organisations: bin Laden is reported to have described the perpetrators of the 1993 bomb attack on the World Trade Center as 'role models'. Its first major attack on US interests was in 1996. As Professor Freedman told us—

... al Qaeda is a group, which, through the 1990s has attempted to mount a series of attacks. In some cases it succeeded: in a number of cases, thankfully, it failed ... It has tried multiple attacks; it has used suicide bombers. This is its modus operandi, and we can presume it will try again.[45]

A Continuing Threat?

33. Preventing bin Laden and the al Qaeda network from posing a continuing terrorist threat is one of the immediate objectives of the current campaign against terrorism. This objective is being taken forward not only in the military and diplomatic actions in Afghanistan, but also through a range of international and national measures against the al Qaeda organisation and in particular its sources of finance. The importance of these measures should not be under-estimated. Dr Ranstorp described the modern terrorist as 'part-time terrorist and part-time criminal'.[46] Terrorists finance their activities through the 'triad of criminal enterprise, ...theft, credit card frauds and bank fraud'.[47] He believed that, although the military action had significantly weakened al Qaeda's command and control capacity, many of its component groups or cells 'have been carrying out operations... [at] their own initiative and have received approval for terrorist strikes through very loose coordination with the al Qaeda centre'.[48] The government has confirmed that, based on experience of the way the network has operated in the past, 'other cells, like those that carried out the terrorist attacks on 11 September, must be assumed to exist.'[49] We also do not know, as Professor Freedman reminded us, 'to what extent was anything planned before September 11 to follow on [from those attacks]'.[50]

34. In the longer term the ability of al Qaeda to continue to function as an effective organisation will depend principally on two factors: firstly the continuing availability of a physical base, however limited in size, from which to operate and in which recruits can be trained; and secondly its ability to continue to recruit people prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and to sacrifice their own lives in the process.

35. The military campaign has already substantially reduced if not eliminated any future opportunity for al Qaeda to operate from Afghanistan. There may be other parts of the world from which it could operate, but the closeness of the relationship with the Taliban regime is unlikely to be replicated. UN Security Council Resolution 1373 which required all states to deny terrorists safe haven within their territory should also act as an important incentive on states to act to prevent such bases being established.

36. To tackle the sources of terrorist recruitment, however, will be more difficult. Efforts have been made to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process, so far without success. But, although the Palestinian conflict is one of the most potent issues for al Qaeda, Palestine has not been one of its principal recruiting grounds.

37. Professor Rogers, when he appeared before us on 28 November, argued that the very action being taken against al Qaeda and the Taliban risked increasing support for them in certain parts of the world—

Over the past few days there have been two occasions, in and around Mazar-i-Sharif, in which large concentrations of Taliban have been killed. About 500 were killed 10 days or so ago when the town fell and between 400 and 800 in the last 72 hours. In the United States that will be seen as an example of responding to the atrocities of 11 September. The use of the AC-130 gunships against the fort in the past two days was remarkably effective and certainly put down the uprising. From the perspective of the several thousands of nephews and cousins of the people killed, who will know much of what happened — it will have been widely covered in the media in South West Asia — the reaction will be different. In other words, what from one perception is seen as a very important step in the defeat of the Taliban, is seen within the wider region as yet another example of something that is almost on a par with the 11 September. We may disagree with that, but that is the perception.[51]

38. The Secretary of State recognised that risk when he listed, as one of the questions to be addressed in the further work on the SDR, 'How do we avoid the use of force becoming our opponent's own recruiting sergeant?'[52] There is no simple answer, and the question itself should not be used as an argument against any use of force, but it does reinforce the point that the problems we face are much wider than the immediate battle against al Qaeda. The 'new terrorism',[53] which we associate so closely with al Qaeda, would not end with the destruction of al Qaeda.

39. Al Qaeda has links with many other terrorist organisations, as we have noted (paragraphs 21 and 30-31). Whatever action we take to root out al Qaeda, these would continue to present a threat, and possibly, in the light of actions taken against al Qaeda, an increased threat.

40. But there may also be other new groups. Professor Rogers argued that there was—

a generic problem world-wide, which is that there is a range of instabilities that are developing in the global system that suggest that that kind of action [i.e the attacks of 11 September] may become more common in the long-term and not coming specifically from the Middle East.[54]

41. Sir Tim Garden agreed that terrorism could find its roots in injustice but noted 'there is also the Oklahoma bomber and the Aum cult ... in Japan—not a country that is known for the rich and poor problem'.[55] His concern was that a threshold had been crossed—

... now that it has been demonstrated that you can really grab the attention of the world if you kill lots of people, that risk is higher from a range of terrorist organisations or fanatical individuals. Quite small numbers of people can do these things, because some of the means of mass casualties can be carried out with a tiny organisation of perhaps one or two people.[56]

This fear echoes that expressed by the MoD's Policy Director—

One of the concerns I have... is to try to ensure that we have not set some new threshold of horror that other people feel they have to meet; in other words that killing 5,000 people in a major country's major city does not become what other people try to do better than, which leads you into looking at unconventional weapons and a range of dangerous devices.[57]

42. This is not to say that the battle cannot be won; it can be and it must be. But it will not be won quickly, and it is likely that whatever success is achieved against al Qaeda itself, a number of groups associated with it or sympathetic to its causes will continue to pose a threat. It is also possible that other groups, not associated with al Qaeda or the causes it supports, will emerge. In the next section we attempt to consider something of the character of that threat.

Nature of the Threat

43. Government ministers have assured Parliament on a number of recent occasions that they have no knowledge of a specific threat to the UK. Lord Rooker, Minister of State in the Home Office, told the House of Lords on 7 November—

The position continues to be that there remains no intelligence of any specific threat to the UK at present.[58]

On 19 November, in response to an intervention, Beverley Hughes, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office, appeared to confirm that that remained the case.[59] But the absence of intelligence about a specific threat is not the same as the absence of a threat. The government clearly believes that the general level of threat has increased. It has brought forward emergency legislation to take additional powers in order to combat that threat. Amongst these was the power to detain persons, who would ordinarily be deported, but for various reasons cannot be, beyond the time that would reasonably be required for departure. This power required the making of a derogation from Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Such a derogation can only be made when a public emergency threatens the life of the nation. Moving the third reading of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill, the Home Secretary, Mr David Blunkett said—

Whatever success we can gain in Afghanistan—in freeing the people, in pushing the Taliban, the al Qaeda group and bin Laden back into the mountains—we are still at risk. Those who dismiss that risk, who pretend that because 11 September is 11 weeks ago we can set it aside, are making a grave error.[60]

From these statements we must conclude that, although the government may not have intelligence of a specific threat, they are persuaded that the general level of threat to the UK is substantially greater than it was perceived to be prior to 11 September.

44. Professor Rogers argued, when he appeared before us on 28 November, that al Qaeda was sufficiently sophisticated to have foreseen how the United States would react to the attacks on New York and Washington—

From their perspective, they will have planned that this kind of eventuality will take place, which lends credence to the idea that probably most of the members of the network are no longer in Afghanistan. It also lends credence to the idea that there is a capability for further attacks. I would have thought that there was very little likelihood of further attacks until now. Over the past two or two-and-a-half months, if they were trying to draw the United States into the region, they were succeeding. Now it is clear that the collapse of the Taliban regime in much of Afghanistan is increasing the rate at which the United States can target the remains of the Taliban and at least elements of the al Qaeda network that are still in Afghanistan. For that reason, I would have thought on balance that further attacks are more likely now and in the coming months.[61]

45. The threat from international terrorism so far, however, has not seemed to be directed against the United Kingdom. The attacks attributed to al Qaeda have been against US interests. In recent years Palestinian terrorism has been largely directed against Israel itself. Algerian terrorists have launched attacks in France. Aum Shinrikyo targeted the Tokyo underground. Anthrax spores have been sent through the US postal system.

46. But it would be naive to take comfort from our relative good fortune to date. In his statements since 11 September, bin Laden has repeatedly issued threats jointly against President Bush and Mr Blair. On 13 October his spokesman reportedly stated—

Al Qaeda declares that Bush Sr, Bush Jr, Clinton, Blair and Sharon are the arch-criminals... We also ... advise the Muslims in the United States and Britain... not to travel by plane. We also advise them not to live in high-rise buildings and towers.[62]

47. Indeed, in the weeks since 11 September the relative threat to the UK may have increased. The UK is the United States' closest ally and the government have made very public their support for the US and the actions it has taken. We fully endorse the actions that the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have taken both to declare and to demonstrate our strong support for the United States. If that support risks making the UK more of a target for the sorts of people who attacked New York and Washington, it is a risk which we must accept. We must take the necessary steps to counter it; but we must not be dissuaded by it from doing the right thing.

48. Terrorism threatens us not only in the UK itself. British interests overseas may also be targetted. Such interests are, for example, British embassies, British owned companies and also British tourists and civilian aircraft. But they will also include our own Armed Forces on deployment and, on some occasions, those whom they are there to protect. It will inevitably be the case that the more our Armed Forces are involved in the sorts of overseas mission for which the changes under the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) are designed to equip them, the more they will risk presenting themselves as targets. Although there have been no recent attacks on UK forces, the attacks on the US armed forces at Al Khoba in Saudi Arabia and on the USS Cole in Yemen in 1996 and 2000 respectively provide compelling evidence of the potential risks.

49. Professor Freedman warned us that 'the victims of our intervention would wish to respond in ways that would make us desist. Either that would involve killing large numbers of our troops or it would involve hurting us at home.'[63] We must be aware that our forces' deployment overseas may lead groups to try to attack the UK itself. We cannot assume that where conflicts in far away places involve British forces, for whatever reasons, they will necessarily be fought out only where they arise.

50. In conclusion, we can see no reason to dissent from the general view of our witnesses, and others with whom we have discussed these issues, that there is a continuing threat to UK interests posed by the existence of organisations or groups whose aim is to inflict mass casualties. In Sir Tim Garden's words—

It is a serious potential threat to have the possibility of tens of thousands of people being killed in a single incident in the United Kingdom, this is something that we have not really focussed on before.[64]

In the next section we consider what this desire for mass casualties might mean in terms of the means which the terrorists might seek to use.


51. While the attacks of 11 September may have turned a new page in terms of scale and the number of casualties inflicted, it has been argued that they did not do so in terms of the weapons or techniques used. The hijackers' weapons were reportedly nothing more sophisticated than box cutters.[65] Algerian terrorists in 1994 planned to crash an aeroplane into central Paris. Historically al Qaeda's favoured mode of attack has been vehicles packed with explosives. But the attacks also graphically demonstrated the scale of destruction which the unconventional—or unforeseen—use of traditional terrorist techniques can cause. We have been forced to recognise that, in our modern societies, many things may have the potential to be used as weapons of mass effect by terrorists. Not only do hundreds of thousands of people travel everyday in Europe and North America in aeroplanes capable of being used as missiles, but we also transport large quantities of fuel and of toxic chemicals by road and rail. 150,000 people enter the London Underground system every hour.[66] As Professor Freedman told us, '... this attack ... has focussed attention on the things you can do, especially if you do not mind dying in the process, by using much more easily accessed conventional explosives.'[67] He argued that governments must now pay attention to those sorts of vulnerabilities to what he characterised as 'second order mass destruction', 'where you use conventional explosives to generate something much worse.'[68]

52. Nonetheless there has also been much attention since 11 September devoted to the risks from terrorist attacks using unconventional weapons. These fall into two quite different categories.

53. The first are possible attacks on elements of the increasingly complex infrastructure of a modern society—in particular information systems. Much work has been done on the damage which such attacks could cause to financial markets, energy grids or transport systems or even central government. Professor Freedman told us—

... one of our temptations is to look at our own societies and think where we are vulnerable and put a lot of effort into areas where, if we were terrorists, we would have another go. So there has been a mass of literature on cyber terrorism, attacking information systems, yet very little evidence that much of this has been attempted on a big scale.[69]

Such threats should not be discounted. But, as well as the lack of evidence of attempts at large scale attacks of this sort, they do not lend themselves to attacks designed to cause large numbers of casualties. As we have seen, the evidence strongly indicates that a determination to kill large numbers of people in a single event is a central element of the new threat. In that context we believe that the role played by any cyber attack is likely to be secondary, designed to exacerbate the effects of the principal attack by such means as disrupting communications or preventing access by emergency services.

54. The second category are attacks using weapons of mass destruction, or of mass effect: in other words chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. We now consider each of these in turn.


55. Chemical weapons have a long history of military use, although they were first used on a large scale in the First World War. Their use was prohibited by the Geneva Protocol of 1925. It did not, however, prohibit their development or stockpiling. They were not used during the Second World War. Since 1945 there have been a small number of documented occasions when they have been used. Most notably Iraq used them during its war with Iran and against its own population in Halabja in 1988, killing around 5,000 people.

56. After a decade of negotiations the United Nations Conference on Disarmament reached agreement on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1992. The Convention entered into force on 29 April 1997, when 65 states had ratified it. By November 2001, 143 states had ratified it. The Convention bans not only the use but also the development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons. Chemical weapons are defined in the Convention as all toxic chemicals and their precursors, unless they are intended to be used for purposes not prohibited by the Convention. All chemical weapons must be declared and placed under international surveillance. The weapons themselves and their production facilities must be destroyed within 10 years of the entry into force of the Convention.[71] The largest stockpile of chemical weapons was declared by Russia (some 40,000 tonnes). None of these have yet been destroyed. Although stockpiles do not have to be destroyed until 2007, while Russia retains its large holdings other countries may feel let off the hook of destroying their own stockpiles. We are concerned also that expertise may proliferate,[72] but our more immediate concern is that the weapons themselves may find their way into the hands of terrorist groups.

57. There are many types of chemical weapons, from the original blistering (eg mustard gas) or choking (eg phosgene) agents used in the First World War to the more lethal nerve agents (such as sarin which was used in the Tokyo underground attack). There are, however, many other toxic chemicals which could also be used as weapons. As Professor Graham Pearson, former Director, Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down and visiting Professor, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, told us—

...a trap which some of us can fall into when talking about possible terrorist use is just to think about what we call the traditional chemical warfare agents like mustard or nerve agents.[73]

58. The complexities which this causes are illustrated by the Schedules to the CWC which list the individual chemicals covered by its provisions. Schedule 1 contains chemicals which have been or easily could be used as weapons, and which have only very limited uses for peaceful purposes. Schedule 2 includes those that are precursors, or, in some cases, can be used as weapons, but which have a number of other commercial uses. For example, thiodiglycol is both a mustard gas precursor and an ingredient in water-based inks and dyes. Schedule 3 contains chemicals which are widely used for peaceful purposes, but can also be used as, or used to produce, chemical weapons. Phosgene and hydrogen cyanide are both in Schedule 3. Trade in all these chemicals is controlled under the Convention. Chemicals in Schedules 1 and 2 may only be traded between state parties, but those in Schedule 3 may be exported to any country so long as they are to be used for purposes not prohibited under the Convention.

59. But, however effective the international controls over such chemicals and their trade may be, they may be irrelevant if the chemicals are easily manufactured. We have been told that the science required to produce many chemical weapons is not particularly difficult. It has been described to us as within the competence of a postgraduate student.

60. Nonetheless there are technical problems, particularly in turning toxic chemicals into effective weapons. For many agents large quantities are required. Professor Pearson suggested that 'the quantities you need for an effective attack are of the order of a ton.'[74] Professor Alistair Hay, Professor of Environmental Toxicology, University of Leeds, raised the difficulties of effectively dispersing the agent. He pointed to the Aum Shinrikyo attack in Tokyo where 'they were basically taking the agent around in plastic bags which were then punctured with an umbrella. It did not create an aerosol but just allowed the agent to vaporise.'[75] Consequently it was the people responsible afterwards for clearing up the bags who were most at risk.


61. Biological weapons spread disease. The diseases are caused by infection with a living micro-organism. In some cases micro-organisms produce toxins, and those toxins produce the illness. Toxins are covered by both the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. We return to this latter convention below.

62. The Royal Society, in a report on biological weapons published in July 2000,[77] identified four main classes of agent—bacteria (causing, for example anthrax, plague or cholera), viruses (Ebola, smallpox, flu), toxins (botulinum, staphylococcus entertoxin B toxins) and Rickettsia/Coxiella (classes of bacteria harboured by lice and other parasites, which might be capable of causing epidemic typhoid or Q fever). Professor Pearson argued that of the three types of weapons of mass destruction 'it is clear that biological weapons present the greatest danger today ... as they are the easiest to acquire, have the weakest regimes and yet have effects comparable to nuclear weapons.'[78]

63. In recent months there have been a spate of incidents in the United States where anthrax spores have been delivered through the postal system. The perpetrator of these attacks has not so far been identified, but there is no reason to link them with either al Qaeda specifically or militant Islamist terrorism more generally.[79] Anthrax is not contagious, but it has been identified as potentially one of the most effective biological warfare agents. In 1970 a World Health Organisation expert committee estimated that the release of 50kg of anthrax spores from an aircraft over an urban population of 5 million people could lead to 250,000 casualties, of which 100,000 would die without proper treatment.[80] In 1993 a report by the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment estimated that the release of 100kg of anthrax aerosol upwind of the Washington DC area could cause at least 130,000 deaths.[81]

64. Practical experience, however, suggests that casualty levels could be much lower. The current anthrax attacks in the US have caused just a handful of deaths. An accident at a Russian military facility in 1979 exposed 15,000 workers at the plant and 50,000 people in the surrounding area to an aerosol of anthrax spores. Just 70 cases of anthrax were reported, resulting in 68 deaths.[82]

65. Contagious agents, and particularly viruses, may, however, pose a substantially greater risk. Although there are effective vaccines against some of those agents, we do not at present have effective treatments against viral diseases once they have taken hold. Furthermore, the spread of an epidemic can be extremely difficult to control, particularly if there is an interval between catching the disease and displaying identifying symptoms.

66. One of the principal reasons why Professor Pearson identified biological agents as the most likely of the weapons of mass destruction to be used by terrorists was the weakness of international controls over the agents. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of 1972 prohibits the development, testing, production and stockpiling of biological weapons. It has been signed by 144 states. But it does not contain any mechanism for verifying that states are complying with its terms. Attempts have been made to agree a verification Protocol. In July 2001 such a protocol seemed all but agreed until the United States rejected it. In November 2001 President Bush proposed a number of alternative measures to strengthen the Convention. These measures focussed on national oversight mechanisms and the enactment of national criminal legislation against prohibited biological weapon activities with strong extradition requirements. Professor Pearson described this as 'showing signs of the United States re-engaging and moving forward.'[83]

Nuclear and radiological

67. A terrorist group in possession of nuclear weapons has long been a favourite scenario of thriller writers. It has been argued that the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War has increased the risk of it becoming a reality. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), for example, noted that Russian state-owned defence and nuclear industries remain under pressure to export to earn foreign exchange, and the Agency was 'very concerned about the proliferation implication of such sales'.[84] Since 11 September concerns have also been expressed over the safety of Pakistan's nuclear installations.[85] There have been allegations of links between the Taliban and nuclear scientists in Pakistan.[86]

68. A recent report from the Oxford Research Group argues—

A sophisticated terrorist group should have little difficulty in building a primitive nuclear explosive device using highly enriched uranium. Now, and in the near future, a terrorist group may find it easier to acquire civil plutonium than highly enriched uranium. The amount of plutonium available from civil reprocessing plants will rapidly increase, particularly as more reprocessing capacity becomes available.[87]

Others, however, have argued that the technical obstacles would be substantially greater. The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), General Mohamed El Baradei, for example, has stated—

... while we cannot exclude the possibility that terrorists could get hold of some nuclear material, it is highly unlikely they could use it to manufacture and successfully detonate a nuclear bomb.[88]

69. But, if a nuclear explosion remains technically beyond the grasp of terrorists, nuclear contamination certainly does not. What is commonly known as a 'dirty' bomb can be made with conventional explosives and an amount of nuclear or radiological material. According to a recent report by the IAEA 'there are currently no comprehensive binding international standards for the physical protection of nuclear material.'[89] Radioactive material is even less protected. Indeed it is widely used in civilian life (eg radiotherapy) and in industry.

70. A 'dirty' bomb would be unlikely to lead to a large scale loss of life. But it could have major psychological and economic consequences. The IAEA illustrates the scale of potential disruption with the case of the accidental contamination of the Brazilian city, Goiâna, in September 1987. A 20-gram capsule of highly radioactive Caesium 137 was stolen from an abandoned radiological clinic. Believing it to be valuable the thieves took it to a junkyard and broke it into pieces. Scrap from the junkyard was delivered around the city. 14 people suffered over-exposure. 249 were contaminated. Four died. More than 110,000 had to be continuously monitored.[90]

71. There is evidence that terrorist organisations, including al Qaeda, have been trying to obtain such materials. A report in the Washington Post of 4 December claimed that US intelligence agencies 'have recently concluded that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda may have made greater strides than previously thought towards obtaining plans or materials to make a crude radiological weapon'. It quoted US intelligence reports describing a meeting within the last year, at which bin Laden was present, where one of his associates produced a cannister that allegedly contained radioactive material. The report also states that on at least one occasion the White House has cited the increased concern that al Qaeda might have a radiological bomb as a key reason that the Vice President was not available for a face-to-face meeting with visiting foreign officials.

72. Serious radioactive contamination might also be caused by an attack (possibly using a hijacked aircraft) on a nuclear installation.[91]

Likelihood of use

73. There seems little doubt that terrorist organisations could obtain the necessary materials for chemical, biological or radiological weapons. Despite an effective international regime to control the agents required to make chemical weapons, toxic chemicals are widely available. Some states with links with terrorist organisations are believed to have continuing chemical weapons programmes (eg Iraq); in others there are stockpiles which may not be totally secure. Biological agents may be more difficult to obtain or grow, but the international controls over them are weak. Controls over radioactive materials are weak or non-existent.

74. The extent to which terrorist organisations are actively seeking such weapons, however, is less clear. In an assessment of the threat from biological and chemical weapons in 1999 the MoD stated 'so far very few terrorist groups have shown an interest in biological or chemical materials'.[92] Both Professor Pearson and Professor Hay agreed that 'chemical and biological warfare agent attacks by terrorists are less likely than [attacks] through the use of explosives.'[93] Professor Hay went on to say—

... unless groups have expertise or access to expertise in the relevant sciences, it is most likely that they are probably going to use explosives and there is greater expertise around of explosives and availability of materials than there is for either chemical or biological warfare agents... whether it is more likely in general that chemical and biological warfare agents would be used following the attack on the World Trade Center, I do not know.[94]

On the other hand the US Director of the CIA is reported to have said earlier this year that 'terrorist groups are actively searching the internet to acquire information and capabilities for chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear attacks.'[95]

75. As far as al Qaeda is concerned, Dr Ranstorp drew attention to the inclusion in its 'standard operating manual'—the encyclopaedia of Jihad—of a section on chemical and biological warfare and to 'indications that seemed to suggest that al Qaeda tried to buy laboratories for chemical purposes'.[96] Putting these facts together he concluded that there was 'a clear and present danger'.[97] Later on, however, he agreed that 'even if a group like al Qaeda were to try to move in this direction, they would face formidable technical obstacles.'[98]

76. A terrorist group might decide to use chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapons for a number of reasons. Improvements in security measures against more conventional forms of attack might limit its ability to operate and drive it to look for new means. The novelty of the weapons might themselves be an attraction, not least because it would be likely to lead to disproportionate media coverage for such an attack. That coverage would both increase the effectiveness of the attack through the spreading of public fear and also would raise the particular group's own profile.

77. But there are also disadvantages. Such weapons are far less controllable than conventional explosives (or indeed aircraft laden with fuel). As Professor Pearson points out, 'both chemical and biological [weapons] are more uncertain from the point of view of a terrorist because with high explosives you push a button, it happens. You can predict precisely how far the high explosives will cause damage.'[99] The consequences are also unpredictable, both in terms of public reaction (which could include a degree of revulsion far greater than for a conventional explosion which caused many more casualties) and in terms of the action taken against the group by the law enforcement agencies. There are also the dangers to those who have to deal with such materials. Anyone constructing a radiological 'dirty' bomb for example, outside a specialist laboratory setting, would probably receive a fatal dose of radiation themselves. Terrorists may be reluctant to become involved with extremely toxic and dangerous agents.

78. Few of these disadvantages would apply with any force to al Qaeda. And, while on 13 November, Dr Ranstorp was able to say '... there is still no clarity on the exact intent, nor the exact level at which al Qaeda is seeking to develop and acquire [chemical and biological weapons]',[100] there does appear to be some evidence emerging from Afghanistan that al Qaeda has been interested in such weapons.[101] Furthermore, in an interview printed in a Pakistani newspaper in November 2001, bin Laden is reported to have claimed—

I wish to declare that if America used chemical or nuclear weapons against us, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons. We have the weapons as deterrents.

79. Although we have seen no evidence that either al Qaeda or other terrorist groups are actively planning to use chemical, biological and radiological weapons, we can see no reason to believe that people who are prepared to fly passenger planes into tower blocks would balk at using such weapons. The risk that they will do so cannot be ignored.

UK Response

80. Since 11 September the UK has been at the forefront of the international response. British forces have been involved in the military campaign in Afghanistan from the start. The Secretary of State told us—

We made a contribution and we continue to make a contribution. That contribution is significant, but I accept secondary to the contribution that the United States can make...[102]

He made particular reference to the RAF's contribution—

We were able to give enormous support to the strike bombing capabilities that the United States have by offering mid-air refuelling, something that perhaps has not been given sufficient attention. We supported at least 220 of those bombing missions over Afghanistan, at times involving members of Britain's Armed Forces in some very, very dangerous situations.[103]

Our forces have also been involved on the ground and the Royal Navy contributed to the missile strikes at the start of the campaign.

81. The Prime Minister and other senior ministers have been extremely active in maintaining the international coalition. They have expressed their full support for the United States people and administration.

82. But there have been criticisms elsewhere of the actions taken by the United States. Professor Rogers believed that after 11 September the United States might have taken what he called 'the international law route'.[104] This would have involved the creation of a coalition and the participation of regional countries to 'work out ways to bring the network to justice, even though if would take some years'.[105] He was not convinced that the path which the United States had actually taken was the right path.[106]

83. We do not agree. The United States did not rush into military action. It took steps to ensure that its actions complied with international law. As required under Article 51 of the UN Charter it reported to the Security Council that it planned to take measures in the exercise of its right of self-defence. It offered the Taliban regime in Afghanistan the chance to expel those whom they had identified as the perpetrators of the attacks upon them. In the words of Sir Tim Garden 'they waited and they took a very precise and measured response.'[107] On 4 October the Foreign Secretary told the House—

I cannot emphasize enough that the actions that the United States, we and other partners in the international coalition have in contemplation are entirely within the framework of international law.[108]

84. This is not the occasion to examine the military actions which are still being pursued. We also note that our colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee are undertaking an inquiry into the Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism. But, we do state now that we support the measured response taken by the United States and we applaud the British government's action in standing shoulder to shoulder with them politically and militarily. We welcome the statement of the Secretary of State for Defence—

I do not believe that in the period since 11 September two countries could have worked more closely together than the United States and the United Kingdom.[109]

85. There is a dilemma for the UK, however, in deciding how it might support the US and most effectively contribute to the fight against terrorism. In a recent speech, Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), drew comparisons between the approaches being adopted by the UK and by the US.[110] There has been some discussion about where the campaign against terrorism will venture next, including the possible focus for further US military action, although CDS noted that the current action in Afghanistan has 'had a beneficial effect on the behaviour of potential sponsor states such as Yemen, Sudan and Syria.'

86. He argued that 'The US has less need of consensus than we do, [and] is still seared by their experiences with NATO during the Kosovo conflict'. '[The United States'] current requirement for high tempo operations is likely to put them outside the maximum capability capacity and potential of an institution such as NATO.' The UK, therefore, will have to decide whether it 'follows the US's single-minded aim to finish Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and/or to involve ourselves in creating the conditions for nation-building or reconstruction as well'. CDS pointed out that the UK cannot do everything with the resources at its disposal and will have to make choices about what role it fulfills: 'We will have to decide soon whether we make a commitment to a broader campaign—widening the war—or make a longer term commitment to Afghanistan'. A more active role in operations elsewhere will threaten the UK's ability to run concurrent operations. More fundamentally, CDS highlighted the need, as the UK sees it—

... to attack the causes, not the symptoms of terrorism. To do this, we need to isolate the terrorist by making it more attractive for his supporters to seek peace. We need to address the hearts and minds of the population, offer effective humanitarian assistance, run efficient information and support operations, gain intelligence, set the framework as we did in Kosovo, and conduct deep operations to strike the terrorist by attritional or other means. We have done much of this already, and are now moving from operations against al Qaeda ... towards a focus on restructuring and reintegrating Afghanistan.[111]

He recognised that as the fight against terrorism moves on beyond Afghanistan, coalitions will change shape with some members hardening their resolve and others 'wobbling', and that we should expect to see the emergence of more fluid 'agile partnerships' which will change their composition as the conflict progresses.

87. We agree that terrorism cannot be defeated by force alone. It feeds on the grievances of exploited and dispossessed people. Tackling global inequalities and injustices must be part of a long term strategy to starve terrorist groups of their support. It is encouraging that agreement has been reached on an interim government for Afghanistan. We note also that our colleagues on the International Development Committee have been examining the humanitarian relief effort in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.

88. The Government's response to the attacks of 11 September has also included steps to increase security in the UK itself. Emergency legislation has been introduced in the form of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill. Both the Home Affairs Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights have published reports on the wider issues raised. We have separately examined those sections of that bill which relate to the Ministry of Defence police (MDP).[112]

89. Practical measures have been taken at airports, at other points of entry and to defend key points in our critical infrastructure. On 14 September the Secretary of State for Defence outlined to the House the steps which the MoD had taken as an immediate precaution—

Recognising that no specific warning was given of terrorist attacks in the United States, we immediately strengthened the position of key elements of our armed forces. This included reducing the notice to move of military personnel who would assist the police, if necessary, in guarding our airports. Ground-based air defence assets were also placed at a higher state of readiness in case they were required to guard key economic, governmental and strategic assets throughout the UK. Air defence aircraft of the Royal Air Force are constantly at a state of high readiness. Their role is to deter, to deflect and ultimately to destroy any threat from the skies.[113]

The Policy Director told us in early November that 'air defence assets are in place and at readiness to respond to a threat with RAF F3 Tornado fighters and a command and control system is in place to take the necessary decisions'.[114] He did not wish to go into further details in public. These measures are a first line of defence not only for our cities, but also for other places that might become targets. Attention has particularly focussed on the perceived vulnerability of nuclear installations. France has reportedly deployed surface-to-air missiles to protect Europe's largest nuclear waste processing plant at La Hague.[115]

90. These steps against an airborne threat are important, but an easier and more effective attack might be made at ground level. The MDP, during our inquiry into the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Bill, told us that the extension to their powers under the new legislation will enable them to respond to the changed circumstances of an 'uncertain and heightened threat' by operating further out from the defence estate. Given the increased possibility of suicide attacks, the MDP now believe that if a terrorist reached a military establishment which they are protecting, he would have succeeded—

Where previously there was a view that we could defend it from the wire and from the gate with some surveillance outside ... now we have to think that a terrorist might launch an unprovoked, unwarned attack from an area some way off the base itself. ... Our activities therefore take us further out ... That means we have to be able to act outside the normal MoD property ...

The example of a hijacked petrol tanker driven by a suicide attacker was given as one of the potential threats the MDP now needs to defend against.[116] Certain civil establishments, of course, are as likely to face a threat of this kind as military ones.

And the MoD has embarked on what the Secretary of State has called 'a new chapter to the Strategic Defence Review.'[117]

19  See A History of Terrorism, by Walter Laqueur. Back

20  The Dynamite War: Irish-American Bombers in Victorian England, by K.R.M Short, 1979. Back

21  New World Disorder, New Terrorism: New Threats for Europe and the Western World, by Xavier Raufer in The Future of Terrorism, ed. Taylor and Horgan, 2000. Back

22  HC Deb, 4 October 2001, c 672 Back

23  Q 115 Back

24  This section draws on a Special Report on al Qaeda in Jane's Intelligence Review, August 2001 Back

25  House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/72 p 42 Back

26  Q 115 Back

27  Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001, HMG paper, 14 November 2001 Back

28  Q 108 Back

29  ibid Back

30  Q 146 Back

31  Holy War Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden, by Peter L. Bergen, 2001, p23 Back

32  Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001, HMG paper, 14 November 2001 Back

33  ibid Back

34  Q 149 Back

35  HC Deb, 8 October 2001, c 812 Back

36  Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001,HMG paper, 14 November 2001. Back

37  Q 154 Back

38  Q 223 Back

39  Q 288 Back

40  Q 289 Back

41  The New Terrorism by Walter Laqueur, 1999, p142 Back

42  See Jane's Intelligence Review, September 2001 Back

43  For a list of groups affiliated with al Qaeda see Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network by Y Alexander and M Swetman, 2001 Back

44  Q 108 Back

45  Q 143 Back

46  Q 110 Back

47  ibid Back

48  Q 112 Back

49  Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001, HMG paper, 14 November 2001 Back

50  Q 143 Back

51  Q 167 Back

52  Q 261 Back

53  Also called 'ultra-terrorism' by researchers at Sandia National Laboratory in the US Back

54  Q 166 Back

55  Q 173 Back

56  ibid Back

57  Q 13 Back

58  HL Deb, 7 November 2001, c 279 Back

59  HC Deb, 19 November 2001, c 146 Back

60  HC Deb, 26 November 2001, c 801 Back

61  Q 165 Back

62  Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001, HMG paper, 14 November 2001 Back

63  Q 157 Back

64  Q 192 Back

65  Box cutters are knives with razor blades used for cutting open packing cases Back

66  London Underground Website: Back

67  Q 153 Back

68  ibid Back

69  Q 154 Back

70  This section has benefitted from Postnote No. 167, Chemical Weapons, December 2001 Back

71  Chemical disarmament: Basic facts: produced by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Back

72  See Q 106 and Q 122 Back

73  Q 105 Back

74  Q 99 Back

75  ibid Back

76  This section has benefitted from Postnote No.166, Bio-terrorism, November 2001 Back

77  Measures for controlling the threat from biological weapons, the Royal Society, July 2000. Back

78  Ev p 26 Back

79  See eg Q 117 Back

80  Health aspects of chemical and biological weapons, WH0, 1970 Back

81  Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, OTA, 1993 Back

82  The Svedlovsk anthrax outbreak, Science, 266, 1202-04, 1994 Back

83  Q 136 Back

84  Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, CIA, December 2000 Back

85  Q 137 Back

86  Eg BBC news report of 25 October 2001 Back

87  Waiting for Terror by Dr Frank Barnaby, October 2001 Back

88  Calculating the New Global Nuclear Terrorism Threat, IAEA Press Release, 1 November 2001 Back

89  Summary of Report on Protection Against Nuclear Terrorism, 30 November 2001 Back

90  Calculating the New Global Nuclear Terrorism Threat, IAEA, November 2001 Back

91  See paragraphs 89-90 Back

92  Defending against the threat from biological and chemical weapons, MoD, July 1999 Back

93  Q 99  Back

94  ibid Back

95  Jane's Defence Review, 12 September 2001, p 8 Back

96  Q 101 Back

97  ibid Back

98  Q 103 Back

99  Q 99 Back

100  Q 120 Back

101  eg The Economist 24 November 2001, p 22, The Times 26 November 2001, p 47 Back

102  Q 350 Back

103  Q 352 Back

104  Q 215 Back

105  ibid Back

106  Q 217 Back

107  Q 218 Back

108  HC Deb, 4 October 2001, c 690 Back

109  Q 363 Back

110  UK Strategic Choices following SDR and 11 September, speech to Royal United Services Institute, 10 December 2001 Back

111  ibid Back

112  First Report, Session 2001-02, Ministry of Defence Police: Changes in Jurisdiction Proposed Under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill 2001, HC 382 Back

113  HC Deb, 14 September 2001, c665 Back

114  Q 60 Back

115  Jane's Defence Weekly, 14 November 2001 Back

116  HC 382, Session 2001-02, op cit, QQ 2 and 5-7 Back

117  Q 261 Back

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