Official: Britain Faces Serious Risk of 'Dirty Bomb' Attack

Britain faces the serious threat of a "dirty bomb" terror attack, the home secretary has warned.

The news comes as police in Slovakia were questioning three people caught trying to sell enriched uranium for possible use in a radiological device.

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In an exclusive interview for Sky News on her department's efforts to counter the terrorist threat, Jacqui Smith said intelligence analysts believed the number of plots was likely to grow in the months ahead.

"The regular threat assessments I receive make sobering reading," she said.

"What we have seen, of course, is that over the last year or so the threat has been growing."

Sha added that Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, had estimated there were 1,600 to 2,000 individuals involved in terrorist plots in the U.K.

"I think that the analysis that says this is a threat, a serious level of threat that will be with us over a period of time, is right," Ms Smith added.

"If we look at the trends, it is something that is growing at the moment."

On the possibility of a radiological or chemical attack, she said: "If you look at the nature of the sort of attacks that have either been carried out or have been foiled, we are talking about attacks on crowded public places.

"We are talking about the use potentially of dirty bombs and other things and that is why it is something that we need to take seriously."

The failed bomb attacks in London and Glasgow last June happened the day after she took up her new post.

It was, she said, a graphic illustration of the threat facing Britain.