Terrorists have been training in rural Wales say police

Image caption Three areas were mentioned where 'radicalisation or bonding training' took place

Rural areas of Wales have been used by terrorists for training, say police.

An officer with the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (Wectu) has told councillors that mid and west Wales has been used by radicals in their preparations.

Det Con Gareth Jones told Ceredigion councillors the terrorists come for "radicalisation or bonding training".

He said people should not ignore the fact that terrorism networks stretched "far and wide" beyond big cities.

"Certainly it stretches to within the Dyfed-Powys force region," he said, adding Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Powys were all touched by it.

He reminded councillors at last week's meeting that one of fusilier Lee Rigby's killers, Michael Adebowale, had attended the European Institute of Human Sciences in Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire, a year before the murder.

In 2005 terrorists involved in the London bombings on 7 July that year were thought to have met in Bala, Gwynedd weeks before the attack.

Det Con Jones also showed councillors pictures of radicals who had left Cardiff to fight with Islamic State.

He said Wales had "featured quite significantly in a number of high level priority one terrorist jobs in the United Kingdom".

He added: "So don't think that Wales doesn't feature in these things because unfortunately it does.

"And that's why I think apathy is our worst enemy."

Det Con Jones also appealed to people to make sure they informed police if they had any possible intelligence about terrorism activities.

Councillor Mark Cole, who represents Cardigan on Ceredigion council, told BBC Wales the meeting with Wectu was part of the council agenda for councillors to get an update from officers on the situation after it was revealed Michael Adebowale studied Arabic in Llanybydder.

"The learning establishment over the border was mentioned as an example of how we need to be vigilant and aware," he said.

"Because we live in a rural area it doesn't mean people can be radicalised.

"There was no overriding concern, it was very much an update and a reminder that because we live in a rural area we are more likely to know each other and more likely to pick up on anything untoward.

"We just need to be aware and be vigilant."

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