British Muslims fighting against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are being sent back to Britain as al-Qaeda `sleepers` agents, a media report said on Sunday.
Quoting British intelligence agency MI5, the paper said young Asian men trained at al-Qaeda camps are seen as too valuable to fight British and US troops.
Intelligence officers believe they are being ordered back to Britain to conduct terrorist operations independent of al-Qaeda`s high command, media persons said.
Security sources have warned of the danger from radicalized Muslims fighting for the insurgency in Iraq. A security source said: “We may see people who have been `blooded` in Iraq, who are experienced in weapons and bomb-making, arriving back in this country and they may cause a problem.”
Last week Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of MI5, warned it was a matter of time before Britain was attacked with a chemical, biological or radiological weapons. She said up to 1,600 terrorists in the UK were involved in 30 “priority one” plots. Official sources admit it is impossible for MI5, which has 2,800 staff, to disrupt every terrorist plot.