Special Forces on alert over ‘fears Jihadis could sneak into the UK on ships’

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

Special forces are said to be on alert for counter-terror strikes at sea, according to a security source.

It comes after seven violent stowaways were detained yesterday after Armed Forces dramatically stormed the suspected hijacked Nave Andromeda oil tanker off of the Isle of Wight.

It is feared Jihadis could sneak into the UK disguised as asylum seekers on ships, according to reports.

The forces are said to be on alert for counter-terror strikes at sea, according to a security source.

The risk of terrorists travelling to Britain through people-smuggling routes is also being increased by refugees ghosting on to boats on inland waterways, it is claimed.

Speaking of the Nave Andromeda raid, a security source said: “Special forces have been practising for an event like this for many years but lately their training has increased as it is thought to be only a matter of time before there is a more serious taking of a ship, possibly by terrorists.

“The Nave And­­romeda mission was textbook and a huge success but the worry was there was a chance it could have been more sinister than an attempt by illegals.

“From the moment news broke that a ship may have hostile illegals on board it was always going to become an armed counter-terror mission, just in case.

They said there was “limited information" coming from the ship when the Home Office realised it had to "end the stalemate" and deploy the SBS to retake the ship.

  • MH370 'crash site found' in huge missing flight breakthrough

They added "It ended well" but if they had been "armed or carrying explosives it would have been a very ­high-risk operation".”

The crew of the ship are also reported to all be safe following the emergency incident.

Two Royal Navy wildcat helicopters and two Navy Merlin Mark 4 helicopters and the SBS team were reportedly used to detain the individuals, who were met by “overwhelming force“, BBC reports.

Around 16 SBS troopers are reported to have boarded the ship, while a frigate was on standby nearby.

  • Deepfakes to turn world into 'sci-fi dystopia' as humans 'won't tell difference'

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "In response to a police request, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary authorised Armed Forces personnel to board a ship in the English Channel to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking.

"Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained.

"Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well."

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace praised the work of the Armed Forces, saying "people are safe tonight thanks to their efforts".

Mr Wallace said: "I commend the hard work of the Armed Forces and police to protect lives and secure the ship.

"In dark skies, and worsening weather, we should all be grateful for our brave personnel. People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts.”

Source: Read Full Article