British palace guards moved in fear of Islamist "lone-wolf" attack like in Ottawa

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Changing of the guards: The Royal guards at the U.K.’s palaces have been repositioned, and armed security added, in light of fears of “lone-wolf” Islamist extremist attacks similar to the one earlier this year in Ottawa.

At Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Guards–known the world over for their red coats, tall black hats, and stone faces–have been withdrawn from their sentry boxes in front of the building and repositioned behind locked gates and fences, reports The Telegraph.

Additionally, armed police were put in place to guard the guards–a move made after the soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa was gunned down this October.

The U.K.’s ceremonial palace guards do carry rifles that are outfitted with a bayonet, however “the firearms are not loaded,” notes The Telegraph.

Guards have similarly been moved outside other U.K. palaces, including at Clarence House, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle. They have been ordered to not take Sentry duty alone.

Retired officer Major Iain Dalzel-Job of the Scots Guards told The Daily Mail he believes the move is “a big shame,” adding: “I suppose the changes are necessary as there is a significant threat.”

The threat comes from the notion the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) views the palace guards as a high-profile target.

“Al-Qaeda groups have also called on would-be terrorists to launch ‘lone wolf’ attacks against UK soldiers and police,” notes The Daily Mail.

Police confirm there have been security changes, but did not offer details.

Featured image: Guard at Buckingham Palace via Shutterstock

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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