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)
Last season s corresponding match MK Dons first visit to Kingsmeadow since they replaced the old Wimbledon 15 years ago passed without any trouble after heightened measures were implemented. The MK Dons team coach will enter the ground via a separate entrance to avoid it coming into contact with home supporters. Away fans will have to make the trip on official supporters coaches and will also be kept apart from Wimbledon fans.
MK Dons have decided their club officials, including chairman Pete Winkelman, will again sit in the away end and not in the directors box.
In a similar move to the March game of last season, the name of the away team will be missing from the front of the matchday programme and the visitors will appear on the scoreboard as just MK .
FriendsFest 2017 has kicked off at Hylands Park and for the first time it includes original props used on the actual TV show.
Friday saw the start of the 10-day event in Chelmsford1 which is made up of set replicas, themed cafes and the chance to recreate that famous title sequence. As a new addition for this year, the festival included real costumes and props worn and used by the cast.
These included Joey’s Dr Drake Ramoray uniform, Rachel’s outfit from the final episode and Ross’ holiday armadillo costume.
Props on show included Joey’s white ceramic dog (called Pat), Monica and Ross’ Troll trophy and Ross’ Science Boy comic. The props are worth so much money that they are watched over by a security guard 24-hours-a-day while they’re at Hylands Park.
For example, Pat the dog is worth $10,000 ( 7,700), Phoebe’s guitar is valued at $15,000 ( 11,560) and a box of Smelly Cat litter is worth $8,000 ( 6,175). A member of staff at FriendsFest said they “dreaded to think” how much the entire props collection was worth, but they estimated it was more than $100,000 ( 77,000). READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the Street, Eats n Beats food festival in Chelmsford2
The Comedy Central UK FriendsFest Chelmsford sold out several weeks before the launch on Friday (September 1) and is designed to give Friends fans an interactive peek inside the world of the famous comedy series. The festival is brought to life by the Luna Cinema company and Comedy Central UK which broadcasts the show every day.
“The best thing about FriendsFest is seeing people’s reactions when they first see the sets and props,” said Quintin Young from the Luna Cinema company. “When they first set eyes on Joey and Chandler’s apartment you can actually hear the gasps and people saying ‘wow.’ FriendsFest is unique because it allows people to the sets and touch things. “If you are a big Friends fan, these are memories that will last a lifetime.” READ MORE: An extra date has been added to the Essex Prosecco Festival3
FriendsFest takes place at six venues around the UK, with Chelmsford being the penultimate venue, before the tour ends in London . And there are certainly some hardcore fans at the events .
So far on the tour, there have been seven marriage proposals (at the exact spot where Chandler proposed) and there have been visits from lots of tiny babies including four-day old tot Phoebe who was named after their mum’s favourite character. The main activities at FriendsFest are:
- Visiting exact replicas of Monica and Chandler’s apartment
- Posing in the corridor between the two apartments
- Recreating the titles sequence with replica sofas and umbrellas
- Having a coffee in a Central Perk replica
- Singing Smelly Cat
- Seeing original props and costumes worn by the cast
- Fancy dress photo opportunities at the Las Vegas wedding chapel and Monica and Ross’ high school prom
- Trying Friends-themed food and drinks
- Taking part in Friends’ quizzes and challenges
- Posing in Phoebe’s New York cab
As FriendsFest is only at a few venues around the UK, fans travel from far and wide to attend . At Chelmsford, there are visitors from Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and even parts of Europe. Essex Live spoke to some hardcore fans who were at the first day of the event at Hylands Park.
“I’ve been a Friends fan forever,” said Leah from Dartford in Kent. “I came to FriendsFest last year too but this year is better . I loved seeing the memorabilia and the props, especially Rachel’s final outfit and Pat the dog . Rachel is my favourite character, I can relate to her.”
Friends Claire, Natalie and Carrie from Romford visited the event together. “We’ve just had a moist maker sandwich which was great,” said Carrie. “We’ve also sat on the sofa and recreated the titles which was fun . It’s actually a bit smaller than we thought it would be but it is good.” The friends disagree on the best Friends’ character Claire’s is Ross, Natalie’s is Chandler and Carrie’s is Phoebe. Colleagues Ana, Kendall, Alice and Mary all work together in Bishops Stortford. “I’ve wanted to come here for the last few years,” said Mary. “For us, we’ve grown up watching Friends . I remember laughing at it as a kid and then when you get older different things become funny . It’s nice coming here with a group, we’re all friends at FriendsFest.”
Laura, 31, from Stanford le Hope, said she was “the biggest” Friends fan . She even had a Friends themed 30th birthday with a Friends cake and invites. “I’ve watched Friends for years but even now I still watch it nearly every day,” she said. “It’s just such easy watching, it’s so funny and you can relate to the characters .
We all know people like that. “The writing is just impeccable and it’s still so relevant . I love FriendsFest so far, I’d recommend it to any fan of the show.”
FriendsFest is at Hylands Park in Chelmsford until September 10 . Unfortunately all 2017 dates are sold out but there are plans for FriendsFest to come back next year.
- ^ Chelmsford (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ Everything you need to know about the Street, Eats n Beats food festival in Chelmsford (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ An extra date has been added to the Essex Prosecco Festival (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ A gingerbread house Santa’s grotto is coming to Bond Streeet, Chelmsford this Christmas (www.essexlive.news)
- ^ FriendsFest website (friendsfest.co.uk)