London 'preparing for up to 10 simultaneous terror attacks' in wake of Paris shootings

'We are ready if someone tries with seven, eight, nine, ten'

Adam Withnall
Sunday 20 March 2016 18:51 GMT
Armed police officers in central London
Armed police officers in central London (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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Police in London have reportedly been ordered to prepare for as many as 10 terror attacks happening at once across the capital, in a dramatic escalation of the capital’s readiness in the wake of the Paris shootings.

Quoting a Government minister with knowledge of the proposals for enhanced security, the Sunday Times reported that police had made cracking down on firearms a top priority.

It comes after an alleged gang of gunrunners appeared in court charged with smuggling an “evil” shipment of 22 Czech-made assault rifles and nine sub-machine guns into Britain from Eastern Europe.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which was critical in the operation to arrest the suspects in that case, had reportedly been given new orders amid fears of a Paris-style attack involving terrorists returning from Syria using heavy weaponry.

The unnamed minister was quoted as saying: “We used to plan for three simultaneous attacks but Paris has shown that you need to be ready for more than that.

“We are ready if someone tries with seven, eight, nine, ten.”

According to the Sunday Times, army regiments outside London were also on standby to help the capital in the event of a major coordinated incident.

A spokeswoman for the NCA told the Independent the threat picture in the UK had “changed significantly” in the wake of recent attacks in Europe, including the Paris shootings.

London trains for terror

“The Metropolitan Police are the lead force in London, but we continue to work with our partners both nationally and internationally,” she said.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, a Home Office spokesman said they do not comment on operational matters and matters of national security.

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