Britain is on high alert this morning as police forces step up security in public places to try to prevent an Islamic terrorist attack like the one in Berlin.
Eleven police forces are sending out anti-terrorism patrols to shopping malls and tourist areas to try to foil extremists carrying out ‘hostile reconnaissance’.
Two hundred undercover SAS soldiers will also be deployed on city streets to help police in the event of an attack.
In Birmingham, concrete barriers have been assembled to stop would-be terrorists from using car or truck bombs to attack the city’s popular Christmas market.
More armed officers have also been seen in other parts of the country following an initiative begun in August.
UK security services have warned of the risk of terror attacks on ‘large crowds of soft target civilians’ by Islamic State and al-Qaeda during the festive season.
The US State Department has also warned American travellers to be vigilant when travelling to Europe.
Security sources have reportedly said: ‘Britain is very much in the sights of the jihadists but thankfully plots and plotters have been disrupted and stopped. Whilst UK agencies have been extremely good at preventative intelligence operations against jihadist groups, other European equivalents have been less successful, sadly.This means the entire continent is vulnerable to attack, as we have seen in France, Germany and Belgium, but particularly in the run-up to Christmas. It is a Christian period of festivities, bringing together large crowds of soft target civilians, and will attract attention from those who wish to inflict harm.’
Last night’s attack in Berlin in which 12 people were deliberately run over by a truck is being compared to the attack in July in which 86 people were killed on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. A lorry driven by a man who had pledged allegiance to IS ploughed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.