The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)
UK playing ‘key part’ in anti-terror operation
British counter-terrorism officers are playing “a key part” in planning against potential atrocities at Euro 2016, which begins on Friday.
Commander Dean Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s antiterror squad, said a team from the UK has travelled to France and is working with police and intelligence services there to assess the threat to the tournament.
On Monday officials in Ukraine revealed they had arrested a Frenchman who was apparently inspired by extremist right-wing beliefs to plot a series of bloody strikes in his homeland after buying an arsenal of weapons in an undercover sting.
Mr Haydon said: “As we approach the Euros any operation such as that in any country is clearly a concern. As you would expect, we are working with the French and other local police and security and intelligence agencies across the world to properly understand, is there a threat to the Euros.
“Certainly, we have seen propaganda, Islamic State (IS) and potential talk of plots against the Euros, but we’re working with all those various different agencies to police and make the Euros a safe event and a safe games.
“We’re a key part of the planning, although the ultimate policing of the event and the planning is for the French, we are all involved in properly trying to understand the threat, if there is one.”
A police operation targeting 29 UK ports in the run-up to the tournament began on Monday, with trained spotters trying to detect football hooligans attempting to sneak out of the country.
Currently, 1,841 England fans and 86 Wales supporters are subject to banning orders that stop them travelling to the tournament.