UK to spend £15m on elite police
EUROPEAN Union countries are not doing enough to tackle terrorism, Ireland's Europe minister warned today.
In a wake-up call before today's emergency EU meeting called to discuss the Madrid bombings, Dick Roche said member states were too slow to implement measures they had already agreed.
He said: "Two-and-a-half years after the 9/11 outrage, the reality on the ground is that the European Union hasn't really been very good at putting into effect initiatives which it has already agreed to take."
Mr Roche said today's meeting would focus on existing initiatives not implemented, rather than new measures to tackle terrorism.
Home Secretary David Blunkett announced an extra £15m to be spent on elite British counter-terrorism police officers on the eve of the meeting.
Mr Blunkett, who is in Brussels for the gathering, said the cash would "significantly increase" surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities of Special Branch.
The Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism branch, SO13, will get £12m and Special Branch divisions across the rest of the country will share a further £3m.
The announcement was made as the head of the Met said police were investigating a "definite" London link with the terrorists who killed more than 200 people in the Madrid train bombings.
Anti-terrorist officers and MI5 were trying to establish whether Islamic extremists based in the UK gave money to one of the prime suspects in the Madrid attacks.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir John Stevens told the Independent newspaper: "We believe there is a London link with what happened in Madrid."
Scotland Yard confirmed that the comments reflected the current thinking in the capital's police force.