Al-Qaida threat 'overemphasised'
The UK's outgoing intelligence chief says the threat of global warming is just as pressing
Also In The News
Leon Jackson has overcome all expectations to win this year's X Factor title.
Sunday, 16, Dec 2007 11:25
The former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee has warned of the danger of overemphasising the threat posed by al-Qaida to the country.
The Observer reports that Sir Richard Mottram, who recently stepped down as the head of Intelligence Security and Resilience, the group that advises the prime minister on dealing with emergencies, will say that the risks posed by global warming and increasing globalisation are just as pressing.
Mr Mottram is expected to tell an audience at a lecture at think tank Demos' headquarters on Tuesday that an excessive fear of terrorism could divert attention from other important issues and result in harmful effects such as alienating our own communities, according to the paper.
During his speech he is expected to call for greater public involvement in dealing with emergencies and for greater attention on other global issues such as the spread of diseases such as bird flu, poverty, rogue states and nuclear proliferation.
However, the former adviser to Gordon Brown praised the handling of recent emergencies by the government such as the bomb plots in London and Glasgow as well as the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
Speaking to the paper, Mr Mottram praised the holding of regular meetings of the emergency body Cobra within 24 hours of news of a crisis and said that significant improvements had taken place in the government's responsiveness to domestic events.