Britain 'at greater risk of terrorism than US'

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The Independent Online

Britain is at greater risk from terrorist attacks than the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to new research.

The UK is ranked 41st in the Terrorism Risk Index drawn up by global analysts Maplecroft - the highest position of any European Union country, apart from Spain.

Attacks are considered more likely in Britain than in China (43rd), the US (46th), France (56th), Saudi Arabia (61st), Germany (81st), Canada (116th) and Australia (120th).

The index - which measures both the risk of a terrorist incident and the chances of mass casualties - is topped by Iraq, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, with Spain ranked 34th.

The UK has fallen two places from 39th last year, but it is still considered at medium risk of an attack.

A Maplecroft spokeswoman said: "This change reflects a slightly decreasing risk of terrorism in the UK for 2010.

"This is owing to the fact that there have been no further al Qaida attacks, while Irish Republican dissidents remain an isolated threat and the Northern Irish peace process remains on track, despite recent difficulties."

Last month the UK's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised its assessment of the threat posed by international terrorism from substantial to severe. That means officials regard an attack as highly likely.

A senior Government security official warned recently that the "war on terror" was likely to last as long as the Cold War,

Charles Farr, the head of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, said that while the names of terror groups threatening the UK were likely to change, the threat itself would continue for decades.