A leading UK terrorism expert has warned operators to
employ armed guards in the face of almost certain attacks on British tourists
in 2003.

In a chilling message to the UK trade, Bruce Newsome,
a lecturer on terrorism at the University of Reading, said mass-market resorts
would be

targeted as al-Qaeda steps up its terror campaign.

Especially vulnerable are visitors to developing
countries, although Newsome stressed cruise ships, coach tours and destinations
in Spain, Italy and southern France are also at risk.

“The British don’t realise how scary this is,” he
said. “Operators should think about employing armed guards where local laws
allow.”

Newsome based his warnings on
patterns in 2002 which saw the bombing of a synagogue in Tunisia in April, the
Bali nightclub bombing in October, and an attack on Israeli tourists in Kenya
in November.

TUI UK managing director Chris Mottershead accused
Newsome of scaremongering, asking how the trade can send several million
holidaymakers abroad and expect them not to be noticed. “If we stop travelling
we allow terrorists to get what they want,” he said.