These comments by messers Williams and Lamb are interesting SAS officers warn that Britain is unprepared for a Mumbai-style attack - Telegraph , but one feels slightly more aimed at headlines. The US State Department's Europe travel warning US to issue terror warning to Americans in Europe - Telegraph is a little non sensical, as a "no smoke without fire" mentality shown by some tourists will mean fewer trips rather than being paranoid on holiday. By contrast, this little piece by Stratfor this week shows an alternative and rational view point, that at leasts implies the UK might handle a Mumbai style situation a little bit better: STRATFOR --------------------------- September 29, 2010 ASSESSING THE LATEST EUROPEAN TERROR PLOT Summary More information has emerged on a purported Mumbai-style terror plot targeting cities across Europe. According to unnamed U.S. and British intelligence sources, multiple teams of Islamist militants from northwestern Pakistan planned to stage simultaneous small-arms attacks in cities across Western Europe. One of the intelligence sources described the plan as tactically similar to the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a comparison that has drawn considerable media attention. However, even if the details on the plot are accurate, security and logistical challenges for foreign militants as well as superior training for Western security forces would likely prevent such an attack from causing the kind of carnage seen in Mumbai. Analysis Details have emerged on a transnational terror plot targeting cities in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, British television channel Sky News reported late Sept. 28. Unnamed sources within U.S. and British intelligence agencies reportedly told Sky News that the plot -- still active and in the planning stages -- involved multiple teams of militants from northwestern Pakistan with ties to al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban attacking soft targets in several cities across Western Europe simultaneously, taking hostages and killing as many people as possible. One intelligence source compared the plot to the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- a comparison that has drawn significant media attention. The existence of a plot targeting Europe was first reported Sept. 6 by German news agency Der Spiegel after U.S. forces in Afghanistan arrested a German citizen of Afghan descent, Ahmed Sidiqi, as he attempted to leave Kabul for Europe; at the time, no other information on the nature of the plan was disclosed. Sidiqi, detained at Bagram air base outside Kabul since his arrest, has reportedly provided details on the terror plot to authorities during his interrogation. Single-source threats are highly questionable, as the informant could be inflating his importance, may not possess the information he claims to have, or simply could be fabricating a story he believes the interrogators want to hear. At present there is no other publicized evidence that corroborates Sidiqi's claims, but the purported details of the plot do underscore the threat and potential for mass chaos posed by small-arms attacks against soft targets, particularly if carried out simultaneously in various locations across a city or a number of cities. However, logistical and security obstacles would make such an attack more difficult to conduct in Western Europe than in the developing world, and even if an attack was successfully initiated, the superior training, funding and equipping of European security forces would likely mean such an attack would be shut down in a matter of hours, unlike the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, which continued for three days. Conducting attacks against soft targets in the West using small arms would be very difficult for militants traveling from abroad to do successfully. First, there are the logistical challenges of moving teams of people with connections to Pakistani militant groups to different destinations in Europe. Though it is possible sleeper cells would be used for such an attack, planners would still face the challenge of amassing enough weapons and ammunition to arm those individuals for such an attack without authorities noticing -- a task far more difficult in Europe than South Asia. Even if this plot had progressed to the point where militants could have attacked, Western security forces have a great deal of training in handling active shooter situations. While soft targets are always vulnerable to such attacks, the European security response would prevent the casualty rate and destruction seen in Mumbai from being repeated. The description of the alleged plot as a Mumbai-style attack refers to the tactic of deploying multiple teams of gunmen to take hostages and kill civilians. Such tactics are commonly used in Afghanistan and Pakistan and have been endorsed by militant leaders as a more effective tactic than large-scale, dramatic suicide bombings and explosions. However, the success that militants saw in Mumbai was more a result of the permissive environment that they encountered, namely unprepared security forces, rather than extraordinary capabilities on the part of the gunmen. In Mumbai, the police response was ineffective and special hostage rescue teams were slow to respond, culminating in a multi-day crisis that allowed the attackers to kill 166 people -- many of whom were foreigners -- and paralyze the city. Similar attacks launched in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been far less successful. However, adopting similar tactics in a European city, where police have trained to counter such attacks, have much quicker response times and better information sharing, would be unlikely to produce the spectacular level of carnage seen in Mumbai. Copyright 2010 STRATFOR.