British Home Secretary invokes past for technical push against 'war on terror'

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John Reid yesterday invoked the memory of Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the Dambusters' raid "bouncing bomb", and Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker, in appealing to British industry to encourage technical innovation in the "war against terror".

The home secretary, speaking at the launch of new anti-terror search technology, described "the struggle against Islamist terrorism" as a constant fight to stay one step ahead and compared it to the technological battle to "beat the Nazis" in the second world war. "In a sense it is a recall of the innovators of the past. Just as in the past innovators such as Barnes Wallis, Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers [who built the first digital computer as a codebreaking device in 1943], were vital in our battle to beat the Nazis, so now we must be able to use the skills and expertise of all in our battle against terror."

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