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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

British Territorial Army infiltrated by Al-Qaeda

(I believe that this is like the British National Guard. -EoZ)

THE Territorial Army has been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda suspects, giving the Islamic terrorist group potential access to military bases, explosives and fuel dumps.

Five Al-Qaeda suspects are believed to have trained as part-time soldiers with the TA. At least one is now in custody.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that other terror suspects have attempted to join the TA, but says they were rejected after undergoing security checks.

The connection with Britain’s Al-Qaeda network was uncovered in a series of wide-ranging investigations by MI5 and Scotland Yard’s Special Branch.

It is believed the terrorist suspects may have been taking advantage of military training as well as gaining access to bases and weapons.

Patrick Mercer, the Tory homeland security spokesman and a former army officer, said Al-Qaeda terrorists could use TA passes to penetrate security at key MoD establishments such as the permanent joint headquarters at Northwood in Greater London.

“This could have very serious security implications. Clearly in the war against terror you need to know who your friends are. The last thing we want is the enemy masquerading as our own people,” Mercer said.

The TA has about 41,000 members and comprises a substantial portion of the 102,000-strong British Army and has 329 centres throughout the country.