MI5 target four Met police officers working as Al Qaeda spies

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MI5 target four Met police officers working as Al Qaeda spies

Post by Guest on Sun 09 Mar 2008, 1:16 pm

Four police officers in Britain's top force are reportedly under close secret service surveillance after being identified as Al Qaeda spies, it emerged today.

MI5 are said to have homed in on the the “sleeper” agents passing secrets from Scotland Yard to the terror group only in recent weeks.

The suspected spies are believed to have used methods similar to those employed by the IRA in the 1970s as they infiltrated the police and the Army in Northern Ireland.

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All four are understood to be Asians living in London and are feared to have links both with Islamic extremists in Britain and worldwide terror groups - including al-Qaeda training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

MI5 chiefs reportedly believe the suspected moles have been planted as sleepers - agents under deep cover - to keep al-Qaeda informed of anti-terror raids planned by London's Metropolitan Police.

They are said to fear the four could have already accessed sensitive information about secret operations to root out terror cells planning further attacks in the UK.

A Scotland Yard source told The News of The World: "If there are people within the police force feeding information to terror groups this needs to be stopped.

"Since the names came to light there has been a non-stop effort to find out everything about their backgrounds."

The officers' names apparently emerged during a low-profile investigation into police force infiltration which has been going on since the July 2005 London bombings.

Last year MI5 believed there were up to eight police staff—uniform and civilian— with links to extremist groups.

Now agents, helped by anti-terror police, are understood to be watching the four suspects - who work at different police stations around London - around the clock while searching for the vital evidence needed to make arrests.

The officers' every move at work is being monitored along with their phone calls, it was claimed.

Homeland security agents are reportedly sifting through their bank account transactions.

MI5 experts are also understood to be building a family tree for each one and trying to put together a picture of their links to their home countries.

Their names are being cross-referred with lists of men who have been to terror training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

What is clear is that the infiltration methods used by the officers under suspicion bear hallmarks of the IRA in the past.

The police source said: "The IRA tried to infiltrate and they succeeded to a certain extent.

"By just slipping under the radar it takes suspicion away from you.

"If you are a young Pakistani of English origin and you feel you want to do something for the cause of Islam, what better way than to join the enemy and attack from within?"

MI5 believes other sleeper cells are trying to infiltrate public services across Britain in order to gain vital intelligence.

Even exiled cleric Omar Bakri has revealed how Islamic extremists were working at the heart of the NHS and other vital services.

Failed asylum seeker Omar Altimimi was jailed for nine years last July for keeping manuals on detonating car bombs.

Before his conviction he had applied to work as a cleaner for Greater Manchester police.

Numbers of officers from ethnic minorities have risen since the Met was accused of being institutionally racist in the Stephen Lawrence public inquiry report.

MP Patrick Mercer, Tory terrorism advisor, said: "This discovery by MI5 comes as no surprise to me.

"Recruiting ethnic people into key public sector organisations - in place to protect us - is a risk.

"Our vetting procedures have to be toughened before it's too late."

Provided By: Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=528813&in_page_id=1770

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