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Special forces will protect our streets following deadly terror attacks in Europe.
Members of the SAS, the SBS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment are to be put on standby in Britain’s largest cities.
MI5 believes the biggest threat is from a “lone wolf” who tries to murder as many people as possible before being caught or killed.
One source said: “The threat of a copycat attack is real and speed of response is crucial.”
Elite troops will focus on areas with larger numbers of people, such as railway and underground stations and supermarkets.
They will work closely with the Defence Human Intelligence Unit – which runs and recruits agents – to foil attacks. Alpha Team bomb disposal units, trained to defuse booby traps and suicide vests, will be on call.
Armed operatives are likely to patrol cities in unmarked vehicles and be stationed at a number of “strategic locations”.
Terror suspects will be monitored by the SRR, a secretive Army spy unit, plus covert MI5 teams.
The move follows the elevation of the UK’s terror threat level to severe after atrocities carried out by Islamic extremists in France, including the beheading of a teacher in Paris and a triple murder at a church in Nice.
An Islamist gunman also killed four people and wounded 22 in Vienna, Austria, on Monday.
“Chatter” within terror groups has been taken into account too.
The Ministry of Defence made no comment.
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