File photo of the GCHQ building in England File photo of the GCHQ building in England

GCHQ, British spy agency headquarter at security risk

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Tuesday, 17 February 2015 00:03

Armed police guards have been deployed for the first time at British spy agency headquarter, GCHQ outside London.

"The security posture of our sites, including the safety of our staff, is under constant review," a GCHQ spokeswoman said.

"Our enhanced security arrangements are not in response to any specific threat, but related to the raising of the UK threat level from international terrorism from substantial to severe last year."

Britain raised its terrorism alert last August to the second-highest level, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying the ISIL militants operating in Syria and Iraq posed the country's greatest security risk.

With more than 6,000 employees, GCHQ -- the equivalent of America's National Security Agency (NSA) -- is based in a futuristic building in Cheltenham, about 100 miles from London, named the doughnut because of its shape.

The decision to beef up its defences, designed to be a visible deterrent, follows a similar move to deploy armed soldiers at a top tourist attraction in the heart of London's government district last October as a precautionary measure.

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