Eliza chasing about 0.003% of the population

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by hyphae, Nov 10, 2006.

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  1. Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller speaking at the department of contemporary British history at Queen Mary's College, University of London, yesterday.

  2. Thank you Eliza. I suppose they're all fully paid-up member of Al Quaeda? I assume you're after a bigger budget? And that when Tony's consented to this, we'll get a full independent inquiry into 7/7 that will be commensurate with the seriousness of the situation and the gravity of the threat?
  3. I understand Eliza also complained that she simply doesn't have the staff available to chase all 200 groups she suspects are active. The PM has stated that Britain faces the greatest threat in its history. If one takes both of these assertions at face value, though I pesonally cannot accept the second, let me offer some solutions:

    1) Cancel all leave for MI5 until the threat is over. This should increase man hours available by 8 percent.

    2) Institute a 7 day work week for MI5 until the threat is over - rather than the 9 to 5 the vast majority do, with time off in lieu. This would increase available man hours by 40 percent. British infantry in NW Europe in 1944/45 didn't get weekends off or five weeks holiday. There was a war on.

    3) Recall every MI5 field officer who has retired in the last 20 years and put him/her back to work.

    4) Call up all those service people with a quasi-intelligence gathering function i.e Embassy Defence Advisers and supporting SNCOs who have retired in the last 10 years. This would produce another 3-500.

    5) Draft in those Army, Navy and Air Force Int not currently carrying out an operational task.

    All objections to the above would be bureaucratic, or financial and thus could be easily overriden if the threat assessment is faithfully believed by the PM and Eliza.
  4. Toadinhole - nice one. However, majority of what you propose would be overcome by 'them' on the grounds that one really needs a (ahem) 'dark-skinned' person to infiltrate the sort of terr cells she faces. There are just so few of them. Your young metrosexual from the 6th form common room is just not suitable. She said.
  5. Thinking laterally...

    All the measures described so far have been reactive and preventative. In other words, they are addressing the symptoms of the problem, and not the cause.

    The overall cause for all this (I think) is that the Muslim faith is still an unreformed religion which has trouble differentiating between spiritual and temporal. A catalyst is needed for them to move things forward. In the case of Christianity in this country, this was something as ridiculous as Henry VIII wanting a divorce!!

    I think there is hope. I work in Whitechapel, and keep an interested eye on our Muslim brethren. Western culture is certainly having an influence. Designer handbags and stiletto shoes are regularly seen being worn in conjunction with veils. There was a documentary on the box only recently on the subject of Muslim women fighting for equal access to mosques. Do a google search on Irshad Manji or Shazia Mirza. I may be wrong, but I think that our Muslim reformation will (eventually) take place.

    Needed - the wisdom of Solomon

    Not needed - any Sun newspaper driven knee jerk reaction.

  6. So old Binky Fanshaw-Smythe, whose last tour was as DA in Copenhagen in the 80s, is to be dragged back to active service from his sinecure as curator of the Loamshire’s museum and sent to infiltrate Muslim groups in Dewsbury?

    Presumably a suggestion based on your deep knowledge of covert operations, the expertise of Defence Attaches and of the target set? I fear the highly polished brogues might be a bit of a give away.

  7. The idea of very high fashion under the burqua is nothing new. Get into central London when the heat-refugees from the Gulf are in town. Their women drop the baggy envelopes and are very cool babes. There are a number of very highly educated Muslim women. There is, however, a lot of difference between the Middle Eastern Muslims and those from the Indian continent who tend to be very conservative in dress and acceptance of new ideas. As for women and mosques, there is a long long way to go and I do not know of any Emily bint Pankhurst or forsee a woman in a veil running out in front of one of Maktoum's horses.
    I used to be associated with the group that publish(es)(ed) a woman's magazine Sayidaty and they had a number of very forthright and articulate women journalists. That was over 25 years ago. I have yet to see any sign that the ideas these women had and expressed to their readership - radical at that time - have come into common currency.
    I cannot see that we will ever meld Western and Islamic worlds. Both have some values that really should be preserved in the type of community that appreciates them. What we have to figure out is how to live alongside each other in harmony. Ignorance on both sides bolstered with self-interest has to be overcome but the problem is how to do this in a peaceful manner. How? That is bigger even than the $64,000 question.
  8. We all know what 'green slime' is. I propose 'grey slime' for the others.
  9. I used to do some work in Teheran and the late night flights back to Europe produced the mildly erotic experience, after clearing Iranian airspace, of watching lots of shuffling black lumps head for the toilets with their bags and then seeing some real babes emerge - in skintight jeans, bare midriffs, etc. Like caterpillars turning into butterflies. There were some pretty racy lingerie shops in town as well. It's all going on under those burkas..
  10. Hey Mussels.

    I stick with my previous comments above. My knowledge of defence attaches et al is completely irrelevant. What is required is prioritisation of scarce resources:

    1) It is plain that MI5 does not have the dark-skinned manpower to infiltrate these supposed 200 groups.

    2) If you cannot infiltrate these groups, as the numbers are against you, I would think a valid plan b) would be to disrupt these groups by giving them plenty of attention. What better than Binky Fanshaw-Smythe et al follow these suspects 24 hours a day in plain view. Please don't tell me how difficult it is for one person to follow another unless they have passed 'selection' and completed a 12-week course run by 14 Int or the SAS.

    3) All the above personnel will have been previously vetted and so 3 months quicker to put on the job than the alternatives. Feet on the ground would seem to be the key, rather than 'professional perfection'.

    4) Comments?
  11. Toad,

    You presented fixes for current shortfalls in the Security Service. I chose to comment on one of them, largely because I found the idea of Binky et al plotted up in Dewsbury faintly risible. But seriously, I really don’t think the ‘in your face’ style of surveillance you envisage would be particularly effective, certainly no more effective than green army patrolling in West Belfast was in disrupting PIRA targeting, operational planning, procurement, etc – but that’s an opinion.

    I also doubt the effect of some of your other fixes.

    ‘Cancel all leave’ – for how long? A year, two years, indefinitely? Not sure that would help to husband what we both agree are scarce resources. I can envisage lots of burn out very quickly.

    ‘Institute a 7 day work week for MI5 until the threat is over - rather than the 9 to 5 the vast majority do, with time off in lieu.’ I am surprised to learn that this is the current regime, but again there may be a perceived need to husband resources for the long haul.

    Even if you accept that we are at ‘war’, I’m not sure that the NW Europe analogy holds – that was a campaign that lasted just under a year and units were not constantly in contact.

    I’m running out of time this morning, so will close by saying that I’m not sure that this is a debate that can be sensibly held on an Internet forum. Nobody is going to contribute to any real facts (or they shouldn’t). We can all have opinions though.


    P.S. I’m quite happy to admit I’ve never done, considered doing or wished to do, ‘selection’ or the courses you describe.
  12. Mussels,

    Fair comment, though we disagree.