As always, British authorities choose retreat rather than confrontation of the jihad threat. There is no possible way that this can end well.
Security chiefs have taken the dramatic step of withdrawing Royal Guards from their high-profile posts outside palaces amid mounting fears of ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attacks.
Elite soldiers of the Queen’s Guard have pulled back from public positions at many landmarks in response to possible threats from Islamic extremists.
For the first time since the height of the IRA’s terror campaign, the soldiers are also no longer allowed on sentry duty alone, and are now accompanied by armed police.
The move to more secure positions behind gates or railings is a direct response to attacks such as the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby and the killing of a sentry by a lone gunman at the Canadian Parliament two months ago.
But the measures have been described as a ‘retreat’ for the Guards, known the world over for their bearskin caps.
Retired officer Major Iain Dalzel-Job of the Scots Guards told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I think this is a big shame.
‘The reason people know we’re around is because they can see us. But I suppose the changes are necessary as there is a significant threat.’
This newspaper has confirmed the changes to the Guards’ security at sites including Clarence House, St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and Horse Guards Parade.