A top US security chief has warned that Islamic State militants are planning another huge terror attack on the same scale as 9/11. The acting Secretary of Homeland Security in the United States, Elaine Duke, warned that recent attacks involving knives and vehicles were to keep followers of the terror group engaged. But she said that US intelligence suggested extremists are planning an attack involving a big explosion to cause maximum casualties.
She also said it was clear terrorists want to hijack planes to target civilians, mirroring the devastating attack in the US in 2001.
Ms Duke warned of the threat at an event in London (AFP/Getty Images)
The MailOnline reported that Ms Duke, speaking at an event at the US Embassy in London, said: The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11 . They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that.
However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots. Referring to a series of recent atrocities in which terrorists have attacked people using knives or vehicles, she said: Creating terror is their goal and so a van attack, a bladed weapon attack, causes terror and continues to disrupt the world but does not mean they ve given up on a major aviation plot.
Her warning comes after MI5 director general, Andrew Parker, said the UK faced its biggest terror threat yet.
Terror threat: Islamic state (AP)
The chief of the normally secretive organisation gave a speech warning that it was taking less time for terrorists to plan attacks as they could exploit safe spaces online to evade detection. And Ms Duke said the internet was providing the means for more home-grown terrorists in the US through the use of propaganda.
She added that one of the biggest threats to the safety of aviation travel was the free movement of goods and people between countries.
What we believe is that because of the movement of goods and people, we have to raise the baseline worldwide, we can t only consider our borders, she said. She said US officials have strong measures in place to prevent another attack but added: Terrorists are strong, they are adaptable and the terrorist threat is the highest it has been since pre-9/11 .
We have got to have every tool that s possible.
Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attack when planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
- ^ UK facing ‘worst terror threat in 34 years’ warns MI5 chief (www.standard.co.uk)
- ^ Lack of police helicopters could put lives at risk in terror attacks (www.standard.co.uk)
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Shocking footage has emerged of a Marks & Spencer1 security guard appearing to body slam a Big Issue vendor after he refused to return to the store for questioning. Witnesses watched in disbelief as the pair wrestled on the floor outside the department store in Covent Garden, Central London. The homeless man can be heard on the video screaming get off me as he desperately tries to escape before being thrown to the cobbles like a rag doll.
He was heard howling in pain as store employees tried to haul him back inside but they let him go after the commotion drew a crowd.
The incident was caught on camera (Image: DRN) The security guard wants to get the man into the M&S store (Image: DRN) He tries to bring the vendor under control (Image: DRN)
Marks & Spencer condemned the behaviour as completely unacceptable and confirmed it is launching an immediate investigation. The dramatic video – filmed by a member of the public on a mobile phone – emerged on social media today. It shows the security guard trying to drag the man towards the store entrance with both arms pinned behind his back.
When he resists, the guard grabs him by the neck and pulls him to the pavement. He puts him in a headlock and says: Stop resisting, stop resisting.
The homeless man holds onto a lamp post in desperation (Image: DRN) The security guard has the vendor in a headlock (Image: DRN)
He manages to free himself but as he is walking away the guard appears to rush up on him from behind and wrap both arms around his shoulders. Onlookers gasp as the man is hurled off the kerb and slammed into the concrete.
Another member of staff tries to block the camera with his hand and goes to assist his colleague. The security guard says get him inside and they start trying to drag him up off the ground.
M&S has launched an investigation (Image: DRN) The homeless man is slammed to the ground (Image: DRN)
The man filming says: What you doing, mate ? Oh, my days. A large crowd gathers on the other side of the street and staff eventually decide to release the man, saying: Don t come back.
It is not known what the man was accused of. A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer confirmed the security guard no longer works for the company.
A crowd starts to gather due to the commotion (Image: DRN) The camera man can be heard protesting against the vendors physical treatment (Image: DRN)
She added: We re very disappointed to see this footage.
“Nothing justifies this behaviour, it is completely unacceptable and is not tolerated at M&S.
This incident took place over a year ago but was not reported to us at the time.
“Nonetheless, we ve launched an immediate investigation into the incident.
This security guard no longer works on behalf of M&S and we are taking appropriate actions to ensure that this behaviour doesn t happen again. A spokeswoman for the Big Issue said: We are appalled by this shocking and apparently unprovoked attack on a vulnerable person. Big Issue sellers face all manner of hardship on the streets and are frequently subject to abuse, but we would hope that the premises of a major retailer would represent a safe environment.
As an organisation we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Marks & Spencer over the years, so we sincerely hope this an isolated incident which will be treated as seriously as it deserves to be.