British troops have been told not to wear their uniforms in public as security chiefs fear another attack on a serving soldier is likely.
An email has been sent to all military personnel advising them to wear civilian clothing even when moving from unit to unit.
And it warned soldiers not to tell anyone they didn’t know that they were in the Armed Forces and keep security on bases tight.
Increased ‘chatter’ heard by MI5 and GCHQ indicates there are British jihadis who want to carry out a copycat attack of the vicious murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.
The Mail reports that some Muslim fanatics have been scouring the internet looking for the locations of military bases in order to plot another killing.
But some politicians have spoken out against the move, saying that the country should not give in to terrorists.
Labour MP John Woodcock said, “Our military personnel will understandably follow the immediate safety advice they are given but ministers must understand people want our brave troops to be loud and proud in their communities, not being forced to hide away.’It would be a stomach-churning victory for the terrorists if their cowardly attacks resulted in a permanent ban on our servicemen and women displaying their uniforms in public.”
The government under Tony Blair issued a command paper detailing new priorities for service personnel in order that the country upheld the Military Covenant. It also said that uniform should be worn in public to foster pride in the three Armed Forces and established ‘Armed Forces Day’.
But with the increased threat level, which has been raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ the warnings are that an attack is highly likely.
Commanders have told soldiers to act as if the threat is ‘critical’ – the highest level of terrorism alert – and to be ready for an imminent attack. And one unit was even briefed by a commander that the internal threat had not been officially declared ‘critical’ for fear of panicking the public.
“They are worried another Woolwich-style attack is imminent” a military source told the paper.
“The security services are terrified that soldiers are going to be targeted so soldiers have been warned not to wear their uniform outside military bases.”
“We have been told it could be imminently stepped up to ‘critical’.”
The last time troops were told not to wear their uniform was in May 2013, following the brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby outside his barracks in Woolwich.
The warning comes after weeks of arrests by police over foiled terror plots, including one threatening the life of The Queen.
And security chiefs have said that a terrorist attack on British soil is ‘almost inevitable’.