One of the arguments the Scottish National Party (SNP) makes for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom is that the risk of al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism against Scotland would diminish if Scotland were no longer associated with U.K. foreign policy it was reported on the 10 Jan 14 (In an American Homeland Security Briefing). A senior cabinet member dismissed these assertions, pointing out that Islamic extremists have attacked smaller states in Europe, including Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark, which the SNP regularly suggest as a model for an independent Scotland. James Brokenshire, the U.K. security minister, said that while the risk of terrorism against Scotland would not diminish, Scottish independence would make it harder for Police Scotland to fight serious organized crime and terrorism.
France – A terror group active in West Africa has threatened it would target the interests of "France and her allies" in retaliation for France's military intervention in Mali last year. In Nov 13, the United States added the group -- Groupe des Mourabitounes de l'Azawad (GMA) – to the list of foreign terrorist organizations. The Mourabitounes group was formed in Aug 13 when veteran terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar officially joined forces with the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mouvement pour l'unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l'Ouest [MUJAO]), a radical al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group that once controlled part of northern Mali and has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in the Gao region since France intervened in Mali in early 2013.