Scottish Daily Mail

UK bor­ders tight­ened amid stow­away fears


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BRI­TISH border se­cu­rity was es­ca­lated last night amid fears ji­hadis might stow away in ve­hi­cles cross­ing the Chan­nel or en­ter the UK by boat to launch deadly at­tacks.

The crack­down came as David Cameron said the UK’s fu­ture se­cu­rity de­pended upon ‘de­grad­ing and ul­ti­mately de­stroy­ing’ Is­lamic State.

The Prime Min­is­ter vowed a ‘step change’ in the bat­tle against Is­lamic terror – pledg­ing to re­cruit 1,900 spies.

Bri­tain’s avi­a­tion se­cu­rity force will be dou­bled in or­der to con­duct a two-month ‘rapid re­view’ of air­ports in trou­ble spots – mainly in North Africa and the Mid­dle East.

White­hall of­fi­cials said that, in the wake of the Paris atroc­i­ties, border se­cu­rity has been ramped up to keep out fa­nat­ics in­tent on sim­i­lar at­tacks. In­sid­ers said hol­i­day­mak­ers re­turn­ing via France should ex­pect to have their car boot searched amid con­cerns By James Slack in Lon­don

and Ja­son Groves at the G20 Sum­mit ex­trem­ists might seek to stow­away in ve­hi­cles us­ing ports or the Chan­nel Tun­nel. The Border Force has de­ployed two cut­ter boats to in­ter­cept sus­pi­cious small ves­sels.

In­tel­li­gence checks on flights from coun­tries where IS has a foothold will be stepped up while more in­bound freight ve­hi­cles will be scanned. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said an at­tack re­mained ‘highly likely’, though there were no plans to raise the terror threat from se­vere to crit­i­cal.

Plans for re­spond­ing to a Paris-style ma­raud­ing gun at­tack have been re­viewed fol­low­ing two meet­ings of the Cobra emer­gency com­mit­tee. Dozens of SAS troops are on pa­trol in busy ar­eas while the Army is on standby. The SAS has or­ders to shoot ter­ror­ist at­tack­ers on sight.

In­tel­li­gence ex­perts have been alarmed by the fact the Paris killers wore sui­cide bomb vests. A source said: ‘Th­ese peo­ple had no in­ten­tion of try­ing to es­cape. That does look like a sig­nif­i­cant shift.’

Of­fi­cials in­sist there is no ev­i­dence of fa­nat­ics seek­ing to use the asy­lum sys­tem to en­ter the UK. But they say this does not mean fa­nat­ics who have en­tered Europe pos­ing as refugees will not now seek to reach Bri­tain.

Mr Cameron flew to the An­talya, Tur­key, yes­ter­day for the G20 sum­mit. He will hold talks with Vladimir Putin in an ef­fort to per­suade the Rus­sian pres­i­dent to stop bomb­ing Syr­ian mod­er­ates and fo­cus mil­i­tary fire­power on IS. But the prospect of an early Com­mons vote on Bri­tish mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in Syria has been played down.

Last night, Mr Cameron said: ‘This is a gen­er­a­tional strug­gle that de­mands we pro­vide more man­power to com­bat those who would de­stroy us and our val­ues.’

Spy agen­cies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ will see man­power boosted by about 15 per cent. The fund­ing is also aimed at coun­ter­ing the grow­ing men­ace of cy­ber-at­tacks.

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