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Saturday 26 – Morning Star Online

Football clubs should ban bags at grounds, a former national counter-terrorism adviser said yesterday. Newcastle have already asked fans not to take bags to matches, a move welcomed by one of the club s fans groups. But Lee Dodderidge believes the heightened terror threat means clubs should bar the vast majority of fans from carrying bags to matches to minimise the need for searches and reduce the security threat.

Dodderidge, who also advised on security at the London 2012 Olympics, said: Venues like stadiums, there is a high volume of footfall where they ve got to get people in as quickly as possible.

In today s current climate, where terrorist groups are looking at targeting large groups of people like the vehicle attack that we ve just witnessed in Barcelona, you can remove that opportunity by not having large amounts of people waiting for people in front of them to have bags searched.

We have to make sure that people can come and enjoy a football match, but in doing so make sure that everybody else is safe coming into a football stadium. Newcastle issued advice to fans attending games, including reinforcing the club policy to search all bags at entry points to the ground and asking fans to minimise what they carry to matches. Steve Storey, head of safety and security at Newcastle, said: The safety of all supporters is of paramount importance to us and various measures have been introduced to improve security in and around the stadium.

While the police are keen to emphasise that there is no intelligence to suggest that our stadium is a target for any terrorist activity, these measures are a reasonable and proportionate measure to take in light of recent attacks elsewhere.

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Europe’s cities have got used to increased security threat

Europe’s cities have had to get used to the fact that, of late, the terror threat they face has increased both in size and complexity. The atrocities in Barcelona and Cambrils1 are the latest examples of this. The continent’s police and security agencies have long known that the demise of the so-called Islamic State would signal an increase in the tempo of attacks, and definitely not an end to the threat of Islamist extremists. Three attacks in the UK in as many months were the first indication of the nightmare scenario they feared; that the leaders of this rapidly disintegrating so-called caliphate would compel their footsoldiers to launch attacks across the West. After all, the model for this kind of scenario played out more than a decade ago, when the most feared terror group at that time, al Qaeda, felt the full wrath of coalition airstrikes and ground operations.

Al Qaeda’s leaders urged their followers to strike back – and they duly did, launching attacks in London in 2005 and here in Spain in the capital, Madrid, a year earlier. For the security services, the complicating factor this time around is not just that IS has fully trained killing machines who have trodden the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. The terror group has an even larger army of “sleeper” extremists in towns and cities across the European continent and beyond. Most of these radicalised individuals – 3,500 in the UK alone – have never even been to the Middle East . They learned their deadly craft online. And increasingly they have turned to a less sophisticated, but just as deadly, mode of attack. What do we mean by less sophisticated ?

Vehicles and knives . Essentially everyday items that were never meant to murder or maim. Security sources have told me that they face a two-pronged threat. Alongside those battle-hardened jihadis are the violent wannabe jihadis who lack the skills, but are just as determined to inflict their brand of misery – often on their own communities. Authorities here in Spain and elsewhere in Europe have noticed an alarming increase in the number of those who seem to choose the path of violence.

Most of these plots get disrupted before they have a chance to kill and injure innocent civilians, but sadly some slip through the net.

The unfortunate truth here, is that a net increase in plots will result in a net increase in successful attacks.


  1. ^ Barcelona and Cambrils (

Masked bank robbers stopped in their tracks when security guard simply locks the door

A bank1 robbery was foiled by a quick-thinking bank worker, armed only with a door key.

A short YouTube2 video, taken from the bank’s CCTV3 , shows three masked men approach the door of the Banorte Bank in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Before they can get through the inner glass door, a smartly-dressed man coolly puts the key in the lock, preventing the trio from entering. After a moment of confusion, with the three foiled villains looking at each other, the gang make their escape.

The masked gang is locked out of the bank The gang members appear unsure what to do after the simple action halts their plans

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The video has been viewed over 340,000 times since being posted on Wednesday. And the bank worker’s actions have been widely praised, with some commenting: “Give that man a raise.”

Foiled, the hapless trio make their escape

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The hapless trio of wannabe bank robbers came in for some stick with one posted writing: “Give me your damn mone – Oh, okay.”

Bank robberies have a habit of going wrong.

Last year staff from a curry house using mops to foil a heist in Cheshire4 , and in China, a bungling robber was foiled by a human wall5 .


  1. ^ bank (
  2. ^ YouTube (
  3. ^ CCTV (
  4. ^ staff from a curry house using mops to foil a heist in Cheshire (
  5. ^ human wall (