Esme’s excellent post here is very relevant indeed and it contains some fascinating photographs of Inn signs. I hadn’t really noticed Inn signs until Esme started her series of posts about them, but now I’m hooked. They are yet another of our traditions that embody so much of our history. I know that Esme knows the origin of the Morris dancing traditions of our country, but for our readers who might not know, here goes a very brief explanation.
British-based Islamist radicals are targeting Army soldiers - especially snipers - returning from fighting in southern Afghanistan,The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
In one case, a police armed response unit was called to the home of a sniper last September amid fears he was about to be murdered or abducted by al-Qaeda terrorists.
The Corporal, serving with a Scottish Regiment, was one of a two-man sniping team which shot dead 32 Taliban fighters during a six-month tour of Afghanistan.
The soldier – whom this newspaper has agreed not to name – was temporarily forced to leave home his wife and family after details of his service in Afghanistan were made public.
It can also be disclosed that a second sniper who recently returned home to the Glasgow area received death threats from suspected British-based al-Qaeda sympathisers after his personal details became known.
The threats were deemed so serious that an armed response unit was sent to his home in case terrorists tried to kidnap or kill him or members of his family.
Defence chiefs now see the situation as so serious that they have asked newspapers and broadcasters not to publicise the names or personal details of snipers serving in Helmand or of those who have recently returned.
It is understood that senior commanders believe Army snipers are being specifically targeted because they are often used to seek out and kill Taliban commanders.
A senior defence source said snipers were being targeted because theirs sole role in Afghanistan was to kill.
He added: "Sniping is a cold and calculating art. You have to be prepared to kill someone at a long range who may not be posing any direct threat to you. Every sniper who deploys to Helmand will return with several kills, many will be into double figures and this is something which is not lost on al-Qaeda or their sympathisers. Islamists would see targeting snipers as something is "acceptable" because they are killing a soldier who has killed one of their brothers."