‘Wise now to prepare!’ Tony Blair warns terrorists could use bioweapons in future attacks
Tony Blair calls for more UK counter-terrorism measures
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Tony Blair spoke at the RUSI think tank to commemorate 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. He said: “Covid 19 has taught us about deadly pathogens. “Bio-terror possibilities may seem like the realm of science fiction. But we would be wise now to prepare for their potential use by non-state actors.
“Islamism, both the ideology and the violence, is a first order security threat; and, unchecked, it will come to us, even if centred far from us, as 9/11 demonstrated.”
Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the UK during the time of the attacks in New York.
The former Prime Minister sent British troops to Afghanistan in 2001.
This followed the 9/11 attack which killed 3,000 people, mostly in New York.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks on September 11, 2001.
The terrorist group were given protection and assistance by the Taliban who ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.
The former Prime Minister also suggested military presence and further assistance was necessary to deter terrorism.
Mr Blair said: “Counter-terrorism on its own won’t remove an entrenched threat.
“We could seek a middle course, for example in the Sahel we could adopt a strategy of assisting countries with security but also supporting the Government’s own attempts at delving their nations – because poverty and underdevelopment undoubtedly facilitate the extremists.
“In a way, this is what we did in Afghanistan post-2014.
“But even here this will likely encompass more than conventional counter-terrorism.”
He continued: “We need some boots on the ground. Naturally our preference is for the boots to be local but that will not always be possible.
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“Western societies and their political leaders have become quite understandably deeply averse to causalities amongst our armed forces. This is not a problem for the armed forces themselves who are brave and extraordinary people.
“But it is now an overwhelming political constraint to any commitment to any boots on the ground except for special forces.”
This follows as the last US solider left Afghanistan on August 30 after 20 years of military intervention in the region.
Tony Blair was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007.
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