Thousands of troops stationed overseas could be sent home to help police cope with a Paris copycat attack amid fears they are not prepared for a large-scale bloodbath.
Ministers are examining plans to have ‘high-readiness’ battalions stationed across the country to respond to a terror attack within minutes.
The infantry units would provide back-up support to armed police and would be especially vital if there is more than one attack at any given time.
Currently there are hundreds of troops on standby for an onslaught by Islamic State fanatics. But there are concerns there are not enough armed police outside London, especially in villages.
If there was to be an attack outside the capital, it could be more than half an hour before the police have back-up from the Army
As a result, it is understood various government departments are now looking at having more soldiers stationed in places such as Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland.
A senior Whitehall source told the Mail: ‘The country has a force of more than 80,000 troops and they need to be deployed where the threat is. Homeland security needs to be stepped up and as part of that we are looking at where there are gaps. We are looking at bringing back soldiers from overseas.’
The Ministry of Defence last night denied that troops are to be brought home, but senior Whitehall sources insisted the plans were under discussion. Details are not yet clear but it is understood thousands of soldiers could be re-deployed across the UK from overseas.
The Army is stationed in more than 80 countries. There are thousands of troops in Germany – a legacy from the Second World War – as well as hundreds in Cyprus and hundreds in the Falkland
Source – Daily mail