Published on 12 February, 2010
| Just months before the Counter Terror Expo 2010, the government has been accused of institutional inertia over terrorism|
United Kingdom counter terrorism strategy has been called into question, just two months before London plays host to a high level gathering of counter terrorism officials and specialists from around the world. In a damning report published by the influential Home Affairs Committee, the government has been accused of institutional inertia over terrorism.
"This prescient report underscores a fundamental issue that has bedevilled counter terrorism professionals for many a long year; that capability to meet current and future threats dissipates with the passage of time from the last major incident," comments Peter Jones, Event Director, Counter Terror Expo 2010.
The report states that while the structures now in place may be suitable for combating the terrorist threat as currently constituted, Home Affairs Committee members are not confident that government institutions have the desire to constantly adapt to meet ever-changing threats.
It goes on to say that a lack of political will has hindered the institution of valuable reforms such as regional policing counter-terrorism units; and that those involved in counter-terrorism may be willing to settle for existing sub-optimal solutions, rather than pro-actively reforming to meet those ever-changing threats.
Counter Terror Expo 2010 is set against a backdrop of one of the most extensive security technology exhibitions of its kind in the world today
"The concerns raised in the report mirror hard experience gained elsewhere and emphasise the need for constant evolution in counter terrorism strategy," adds Mr. Jones. "This is a key theme in the forthcoming Counter Terror Expo 2010, which brings the world's leading experts together with governmental and private sector specialists in the field, for two days of informed debate and private deliberation on the principal issues facing us today."
Governmental agency inertia has been identified as one in a number of reasons why alleged airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab succeeded in boarding Northwest Airlines flight NWA 253 on Christmas Day and attempted to detonate an improvised explosive device as the aircraft descended toward Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula later claimed responsibility for the attack.
The device Abdulmutallab carried was similar to that used by Abdullah Hasan Tali al-Asiri, in the attempted assassination of Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, in August of last year.
Subsequent to the attempted airliner downing, multiple countries have stepped up their intelligence sharing effort and have begun to deploy additional countermeasures to protect the aviation industry against potential future attacks.
"The resurgence in Al-Qaeda attacks against key personnel and assets, highlights the fact this terrorist organisation remains nimble and is by no means a spent force. Terrorist events over the past twelve months emphasise the continued need for effective sharing of expertise and Counter Terror Expo 2010 delivers the ideal forum in which to foster the necessary enabling links," concludes Peter Jones.
Counter Terror Expo 2010 will be held at London, Olympia from 14 to 15 April 2010. It will bring over 4000 delegates from 77 countries together for this key event and against a backdrop of one of the most extensive technology exhibitions of its kind in the world today.