By Jena Baker McNeill
Homeland Security Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation
America’s allies matter when it comes to keeping our homeland safe. But working with our allies on the security front is more than just a matter of safety for U.S. soil. It is about the security of these countries as well. Their security ensures that the bad guys don’t get the upper hand in terms of global terrorism, while forming bonds between the U.S. and other countries that sustains information sharing, military cooperation, and overall goodwill. It also helps keep the global marketplace up and running—making everyone better off.
The Heritage Foundation is hosting an event this Thursday, December 3, 2009, at 2 p.m. that will examine the counterterrorism practices of Britain, one of the most long-standing of these allies. Joining Heritage will be U.K. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, as we discuss the joint threats facing the U.S. and the U.K. and how the two nations can work together and separately to tackle the threat of terrorism.
Heritage Foundation expert Ted Bromund has written extensively on the terrorist threat facing the United Kingdom. In a recent paper, he emphasizes that “in January 2009, the head of MI-5, Britain’s domestic security service, stated that 2,000 individuals in Britain were directly connected to Islamist terrorist plots and that many more supported terrorism through fundraising or propaganda. This is a growing problem and one that could jeopardize Britain’s future. And this isn’t the first sign of this growing problem either. In fact, sixty-seven British citizens, and at least a dozen or more with close U.K. ties, perished on September 11, 2001. Just four years later, at least 700 British citizens were injured, and over 50 killed, in the London train bombings.
It’s important for both countries to continue to examine how to prevent these attacks from happening again.