SAS Troops Stationed in London
British special forces are now stationed in London:
An SAS unit is now for the first time permanently based in London on 24-hour standby for counter-terrorist operations, The Times has learnt.
The basing of a unit from the elite special forces regiment "in the metropolitan area" is intended to provide the police with a combat-proven ability to deal with armed terrorists in the capital.
The small unit also includes surveillance specialists and bomb-disposal experts.
Although the Metropolitan Police has its own substantial firearms capability, the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician who was mistakenly identified as a terrorist bomber on the run, has underlined the need to have military expertise on tap.
While I agree that the British police completely screwed up the Menezes shooting, I'm not at all convinced the SAS can do better. The police are trained to work within a lawful society; military units are primarily trained for military combat operations. Which group do you think will be more restrained?
This kind of thing is a result of the "war on terror" rhetoric. We don't need military operations, we need police protection.
I think people have been watching too many seasons of 24.
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 3:34 PM • 67 Comments